Move-to-earn App STEPN Suffers Multiple DDoS Attacks After Major Update

STEPN told users to “take some rest” as its engineers worked to fix the app’s issues.
Image source: STEPN

Quick take:

  • The app reported that it was under multiple DDoS attacks this weekend.
  • Users experienced “network congestion” as the app it was hit with 25 million DDoS attacks.
  • STEPN said recovery would take up to 12 hours and would announce on Twitter once it’s complete.

Move-to-earn app, STEPN, which rewards users for walking with an NFT sneaker, reported on Twitter on Sunday that it was under multiple DDoS attacks after a major anti-cheating upgrade.

“Our engineers are working hard to fix the problems. We will announce here once recovery is complete. Thank you so much for everyone’s patience,” it tweeted. Security and recovery were expected to take up to 12 hours, but as of this writing, STEPN has yet to post an update even though more than 24 hours have passed since that tweet. 

This was the platform’s third DDoS attack in three months. In April and May, the platform announced that people sent millions of DDos attacks in attempt to cripple its server. 

The DDOS attacks happened after STEPN presented its anti-cheating system called “STEPN’s Model for Anti-Cheating” (SMAC), on Jun 3, which aims to eliminate fake users and movement simulation.

Using AI, the system cross-references users’ running data with the platform’s benchmark standard to check global, contextual and collective outliers at the end of each of their sessions. It also detects buying/selling bots and minting/levelling bots on its marketplace. Once detected, the system will disconnect these bots from the app.

“SMAC system will kick in after the users long-press the STOP button and before going into the result page, SMAC system will analyse the users’ motion data and if an anomaly is detected, there will be repercussions,” STEPN wrote in a blog post.

In subsequent updates, STEPN will introduce the Turing Score, which will start with a score of 100/100 and prevent users from starting a new session until their score tabulation is complete. 

During the SMAC upgrade, users were notified of “network congestion” caused by 25 million DDoS attacks in a short period. Other platform issues include misidentifying genuine users as bots and the temporary inability to track any bots on the platform.

“We are deeply sorry for the inconvenience caused to users. The anti-cheating update may seem small, but it is actually an important cornerstone of Stepn’s long-term development,” the platform tweeted.

This news comes shortly after STEPN announced that it will be blocking users from mainland China to comply with regulatory policies by mid-July. 

Launched in December last year, STEPN is the latest craze in the blockchain gaming space as it allows users to earn its native tokens GST and GMT by walking, jogging or running outdoors. It recently launched Realm, a new server that hosts a fork of the game, allowing different users to play the same game in different realms. 

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