€10,000 bounty offered to catch perpetrators of cyber-attack

An online role-playing game has offered a reward of €10,000 (£8,200) for any "tips leading to conviction" of those responsible for taking it offline.

The massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) Wurm went offline on Tuesday shortly after an update was installed.

The attackers launched a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, an effective method that works by overloading the website's servers with massive amounts of data that it is then unable to process.

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"Shortly after today's update we were the target of a DDOS attack and our hosting provider had to pull us off the grid for now," Wurm developers wrote in a post on the game's website.

"We can offer 10 000 Euro for any tips or evidence leading to a conviction of the person responsible for this attack."

Having initially thought that the new servers would be up and running within a day, the developers have now warned players that they are unsure when they will be able to get the game back online.

DDoS attacks have become popular with cyber-criminals seeking to disrupt the service of their targets both quickly and effectively

Related: 5 DDoS defence strategies every company should know

Research last year by IT security firm Neustar revealed that one fifth of UK companies were the victim of DDoS attacks in 2012.

Players of Wurm have been speculating on the website's forums about the possible motive behind the attack.

Some have suggested that it could have been carried out by a disgruntled player while others claim it could be a "random attack" carried out by extortionists.