authentication servers suffering major slowdown, cause unknown

If you've tried to play Hearthstone or World of Warcraft today, you've likely run into a login queue that's a lot longer than you're used to. Blizzard says it's aware that something is amiss, and is now investigating the cause of the trouble.

Reports of overlong Hearthstone queues turned up earlier today on Reddit, where users complained of wait times of 15 minutes or more. Several posters suggested the problem bears the hallmarks of a DDoS attack, and while Blizzard hasn't acknowledged that this is the case, the "maintenance alert" message on suggests that something untoward is happening.

"We’re aware of an issue that is affecting our authentication servers, which may result in failed or slow login attempts," it says. "We’re currently investigating the cause and will provide updates as they’re available."

One possible scenario is that this is another attack by "Lizard Squad," the group that brought so much grief to Xbox Live and PlayStation Network users over the holidays. It carried out a prior DDoS attack against and other services in August 2014, when it also (and more famously) used a fake bomb threat to divert an American Airlines flight carrying Sony Online Entertainment President John Smedley.

We've reached out to Blizzard for more information and will update if and when we receive a reply.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.