So, you're having problems logging into your Minecraft account and getting into multiplayer servers. There's a reason for this. Someone (or a group) is currently DDoS attacking the game's hub, Minecraft.net, and the strain is causing problems on the player's end.
On October 20, the game's creator, Markus Persson (or "Notch") updated his blog stating that he believed the site was being assaulted. Later in the day he backed off that assessment, only to come around again after confirming that his problems were indeed the result of a malicious flood.
"SYN flood, apparently," Notch wrote, explaining what was happening. He continued in the short post, "I've learned a lot today. One of those lessons is [that I need to] hire a Linux guru."
Speaking with us today, Notch said that the Minecraft forums community has been a big help in identifying what is going on. With their aid and an ISP confirmation, Notch was able to fix the damage of one attack, shortly before another and larger DDoS attack started.
"I didn't realize it was an attack at first," Notch told us via e-mail. "I got some great help from the people running the Minecraft forums, and then my server host confirmed it was a DDoS attack. We fixed the initial attack, but then a larger one started."
This morning, Notch provided an update about current events on his blog. Minecraft is still the victim of an ongoing DDoS attack, and just like the yesterday, Notch has no clue why his site is being targeted. "As to why Minecraft.net is being targeted, I'm not sure," Notch wrote. "While the guys hosting my server are looking into things, I'll get back to coding." The game's Halloween update, which adds a new realm, fishing, jack-o-lanterns, six new block types and more, is still in the works.
As of now, Minecraft.net is up and available for use. Notch told us that he's "geting great help from several sources now" and hopes "it will be fixed tomorrow."
UPDATE: A group that wants Notch to put out more updates for the game is claiming responsibility for the DDoS attacks in a 4chan post, according to Kotaku. It's impossible to tell at the moment if these guys are really the ones responsible for these attacks. Note: this group isn't claiming affiliation with 4chan.