updated 12:49 pm EST, Sat January 4, 2014
Both services unavailable for a period of time during holiday sales
Shortly after the arrival of the new year, online gaming powerhouses Electronic Arts plus Valve's Steam suffered from an array of denial of service (DoS) attacks. For a period of time, EA's Origin service was completely inaccessible, preventing players from playing EA games or accessing the storefront. Steam's authentication server and store also went down for an hour in the middle of its now-complete holiday sale. Both services are now fully restored.
An online group, which some Internet users believe may be a single person, called DERP claimed on Twitter that it was responsible for the EA seder attack. EA claimed that the Origin service was only unavailable for a short time, with full service restoration the morning of January 3. EA's assault wasn't DERP's first effort -- earlier in the week, the person or group used the same methods to bring down League of Legends, Club Penguin, and Battle.net for a short period of time as well.
Two individuals on Twitter claim responsibility for the Steam takedown -- "chFtheCat" and "Larceny" cooperated to briefly stop Steam. One of the pair claimed that they were attacking Steam since DERP was working on Origin, with DERP issuing a congratulatory tweet on the effort. Neither EA nor Valve have any detailed comment on the attacks, other than to indicate later that both services were up and running.
The attacks emphasize the danger of "always on" DRM for software. For a period of time, users wanting to play games requiring connectivity to the servers, for even single player, were unable to play. Additionally, for a period of time, users were not able to complete or download purchasers from either system during what is one of the busiest sale periods for both companies.