Online video game portal and software company Curse has announced Curse Voice – an alternative VoIP option claiming to offer protection from online gaming risks” such as DDOS attacks and swattings.
Speaking with Polygon, Curse CTO Michael Comperda explained how a solution like Curse Voice has become a necessity for the current online gaming landscape.
"When you look at products like Skype or Google Hangouts and Facebook those things are very personal. You generally interact with your family and friends and generally we don’t have to worry about those people swatting us or DDOSing us.”
"But when you’re playing games, I think there’s a legitimate need in the community and in the market for a product that is very much a gamer identity. And I think that’s where Curse Voice fits in. It’s not only a technology solution here, but it really is a product solution where you have this thing that can connect you to all your gamer friends and it protects you so that you can enjoy Skype or Facebook for your real-life relationships."
The technology aims to protect users by severally limiting connections between an individual’s computer and the internet.
"Open your Windows Task Manager," while you’re making a call with Skype. Bring up the resource monitor … click the little network tab. You will see dozens, if not hundreds, of connections out on the internet.
"With Curse Voice you’ll actually see one connection that persists, and that’s direct connection to one of our servers that we host in the cloud. And if you’re in a call there’ll be one additional connection just to that cloud-powered voice host. And that’s it. Just two."
Limiting connections reduces the number of vectors that attackers have to dig up an IP address of someone playing games online, which Comperda says can lead to DDOS and swatting attacks.
"We work with a lot of streamers. We’re all gamers, so we’ve actually experienced DDOS’ ourselves. Our websites included. People attempt to DDOS our websites pretty much every day. And the reason that I lump together swatting and DDOS is because … both of those are intrusions, and they are effecting a person’s virtual life or real life.
"Frankly, something has to stop here. It’s gotten out of hand. So, I don’t know if Curse Voice is the answer to all of these things, but I think it’s a disruptive product. I think it has a huge benefit to any gamer that wants to try it out."
Curse Voice is available for free, and will eventually be fully integrated into the Curse client. The client currently carries mod and addon management for Minecraft, World of Warcraft, Skyrim and World of Tanks.