We’ve recently covered an unknown host error that can appear while you’re trying to connect to Minecraft servers. The conclusion was that it sometimes can be a result of the malfunctioning of a specific server among other things. Having said that, it’s not that hard at all for a private Minecraft server to malfunction. It can be the result of some weird error, wrong setup, or a malicious attack known as a DDoS attack. Before you can protect your server from DDoS attacks you need to know what they are, and in this post, we’re going to cover exactly that. Let’s see what is DDoS attack on a Minecraft server is and what you can do to protect yourself.
What is a DDoS attack?
Shot for distributed denial-of-service, DDoS attack is an attempt to maliciously block a network, server, or service from functioning normally by overloading it with requests that cannot be fulfilled.
Servers have certain limitations when it comes to requests that they can fulfill in a given amount of time and DDoS attacks exploit exactly that. Not all servers can handle thousands of requests at the same time, and as a result, will close down eventually giving the legitimate user an error message.
DDoS attacks are usually performed via botnets, this is also the most convenient way to perform a DDoS attack. Various anti-DDoS established measures have a hard time distinguishing legitimate traffic and malicious traffic since botnets can be comprised of legitimate devices infected with malware.
In the context of DDoS-ing Minecraft servers, a few weeks ago Wynncraft was hit, one of the largest Minecraft servers out there. The attack comprised 2.5 Tbps of data, luckily Cloudflare which specializes in anti-DDoS protection managed to fend off the attack.
DDoS attacks are highly illegal and can result in real-world consequences. Unfortunately, they are also quite common in the Minecraft community due to servers mostly being small and private, and next to zero effort is needed to DDoS them.
Are DDoS attacks permanent?
DDoS attacks are only a temporary attempt to keep your server down. As long as the bots are sending requests in overwhelming quantities your servers will stay down. Most attacks though, are not permanent and resolve themselves depending on what the attacker had to gain from it in the first place.
There is a type of permanent DoS attack, also known as a PDoS attack. PDoS attack is a result of hardware sabotage, that can happen both physically and online by infecting a piece of vital firmware with malware effectively bricking it and making it unstable and unusable.
How do you know your Minecraft server is being under a DDoS attack?
The easiest way to know that your Minecraft server is under attack is by monitoring the traffic and resources. If suspiciously high traffic has been recorded, and your server has trouble finding the resources to accommodate all the requests, you might be in trouble and it’s only a matter of time before the whole server goes down.
However, sometimes the sudden influx of traffic might be due to legitimate reasons, if you have trouble distinguishing false traffic from legitimate traffic on your Minecraft server, keep an eye out for the following signs:
- DDoS attacks on Minecraft servers are carried out typically via a single IP address since those types of attacks need significantly more resources than attacks carried out to take down large and commercial servers.
- The traffic that suddenly overloaded your server is emitted through regular pre-programmed time intervals with recognizable patterns.
- The sudden spike in traffic comes from a specific geolocation, device, or web browser. Once again, this is typical for Minecraft server DDoS attacks
- Your server is either not working, or working very poorly. You and other legitimate users have trouble accessing the game since all server resources seem to be busy with phantom requests.
How do you stop a Minecraft DDoS?
The most straightforward way to stop your Minecraft Server from being DDoS-ed is to simply purchase a protection plan. Private consumer-level plans are mostly dirt cheap but offer legitimate protection when it comes to attacking mitigation.
Evolution Host has a great DDoS Protection plan tailored specifically for Minecraft servers that you can activate without switching your host. You can check out the plans on this link.
We’ve already mentioned Cloudflare, a world-famous service dedicated to web protection. Cloudflare offers a free plan for private users working on their projects on small-scale servers/websites, you can set up protection for free. You can check out the plan on this link.
If you don’t want to bother with maintaining a Minecraft server in the first place, consider purchasing Minecraft server hosting from a third party.
The last and critical step toward the protection of your server is privacy, if you don’t want to be bothered with third-party solutions then you need to be careful about who has access to your server’s IP. Don’t respond to suspicious requests and keep the IP between your group of friends only.
To sum everything up, DDoS attacks are organized and malicious attempts to overload your servers with packets of data that your server cannot handle. Due to running out of resources, the server will close down and no one will be able to access it. It’s not hard at all to take down a private Minecraft server, especially servers that are hosted at home on private devices. In that case, you have both free and paid third-party solutions at your disposal, and you can also keep your server’s IP address private which somewhat lessens the risk of getting targeted. Have something to add? Let us know in the comments below!