An online group or person going by the name DERP is currently attacking the servers of games that Twitch streamer James "Phantoml0rd" Varga tries to play, according to reports on Reddit and Phantoml0rd's Twitch stream.
The group performed DDoS attacks on games and services like Dota 2, League of Legends, Club Penguin and Battle.net as Phantoml0rd began streaming them on his Twitch channel. The group told Phantoml0rd over Twitter that if he lost the Dota 2 match he was streaming, they would attack the game's servers; just as his team took a turn for the worst, the server he was playing on crashed.
So far, the group's threats have been consistent with its actions, with the DERP Twitter account tweeting "EA.com #nulled" just as EA's website became unavailable.
Speaking on his Twitch stream, Phantoml0rd said he believes he was randomly targeted because he was the top streamer on Twitch at the time. The group has so far shut down every game he has streamed on his channel.
Many of the services like EA.com are still unavailable at the time of writing. We have reached out to Phantoml0rd and the affected services for comment. The stream is currently drawing more than 140,000 viewers.
Update: Shortly after this story was published, Varga announced to his stream viewers that the police were at his home. The stream was put on hold before going offline. We have reached out to the Los Angeles Police Department to confirm whether officers were dispatched to Varga's home. We have also reached out to Twitch for comment.
Update 2: Varga posted the following message to his Facebook page: "...just had an automatic pointed at me, put in hand cuffs and sat in the back of a cop car as I watched as 6 policemen go through my whole house.. will keep you all updated."
We are still waiting to hear from the police department and an update from Twitch.
Update 3: Varga started a stream this evening at approximately 9:30 p.m. PT to detail his version of the events that transpired. He said after experiencing server issues throughout the day and communicating with the alleged hackers who were DDoSing the games he played, his personal information was leaked, and he then received a warning from a friend who is a police officer that his name had been flagged by the local police department. He said that upon stepping outside his house and walking down the street, he was confronted by three police cars and six to seven armed police officers who ordered him to put his hands above his head and walk back toward their vehicles.
Varga alleges he was then cuffed and ordered to sit in the back of a police car for 25-30 minutes while officers searched his house. According to Varga, someone had called the police accusing Varga of holding up to five hostages in his home. On his stream, Varga showed video footage he had recorded on his phone of the police visit. Varga was released without charges.
During the evening stream, he was interrupted when the local police allegedly visited his home again due to another threat that had been called on him. He returned to the stream shortly afterwards and explained that the caller had notified the police and the fire department this time. No further action was taken.
Varga explained to his viewers that the reason he didn't stop streaming when the DDoS attacks escalated was because of a business decision.
"The first thing is, I'm sure there's an argument out there about why didn't I just stop," he said on the stream. "What people have to realize is, you know, this is a job. I am in charge of a business, so to speak. When the business is doing its very best, breaking records, you don't really stop. You can argue that, and so on and so forth, but that is from a business standpoint. I was going to hit a record, and I was excited — it was so cool, you guys were all there with me, it was just ... it was big. And I was sort of lost in it, so to speak."
Varga also apologized for his actions, and for any role he may have played in egging on the DDoS attacks that occurred this afternoon.
"If that was a mistake, I accept it," he said. "I apologize to the people who were affected by this, to the companies that their infrastructures were messed up, that had issues; it was not my goal for this to happen. It was not what I ever thought would happen. I knew it would have kept going, maybe, but not to the extent of what it was. I really did not know that it would be this intense."
Polygon contacted Varga's local police department for comment, but authorities were unable to provide information. We are still awaiting comment from Twitch.
League of Legends developer Riot Games published a tweet this evening confirming that it was affected by DDoS attacks.
We're one of the organizations targeted in today's DDOS attacks. Sorry if you weren't able to get in game today. We're investigating.— Riot Games (@riotgames) December 31, 2013
The alleged DDoS attackers tweeted earlier today that they had taken down World of Tanks, but the official World of Tanks Twitter account suggested otherwise, saying that all North American servers remained up and running.
Update 4: A Twitch representation provided Polygon with the following statement: "It's our policy to not comment on partners, but our Terms of Service apply to all broadcasters, so we will evaluate the situation accordingly."