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Ubisoft undone by anti-DRM DDoS storm

Protests over anti-piracy controls hobble games firm

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Ubisoft has confirmed its rights management servers were hit by a fierce DDoS attack over the weekend that left some customers unable to play its games for much of Sunday.

The attack is an apparent protest at controversial new DRM controls by the video game publisher which mean customers have to be online in order to play its latest PC games such as Assassin's Creed II and Silent Hunter 5.

The introduction of so-called Online Services Platform technology last month means it's impossible to play a game without an internet connection or save progress while playing a game if an internet connection is lost, as explained in a interview with Ubisoft by PC Gamer here.

The controls, designed to combat piracy, have sparked much negative comment in the gamer community and apparently inspired action by hacktivists over the weekend that curtailed gameplay for some.

"Apologies to anyone who couldn't play ACII or SH5 yesterday," Ubisoft said in a post. to its official Twitter account on Monday. "Servers were attacked which limited service from 2:30pm to 9pm Paris time."

"95 per cent of players were not affected, but a small group of players attempting to open a game session did receive denial of service errors," it added in a later update.

Meanwhile Ubisoft's much criticised controls have been broken by software hackers. A hacker group called Skid-Row managed to bypass DRM restrictions on Silent Hunter 5 less than 24 hours after the game was published. Skid Row has releasing a crack for the game based on this work, Zdnet reports. ®

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