Once again, Sony’s PlayStation Network has fallen victim to a distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack. In an official statement made yesterday, Sony reported that the PlayStation Network and Sony Entertainment Networks were hit by “an attempt to overwhelm our network with artificially high traffic.” In their statement, they also reassured the public that “no personal information has been accessed.”
The hack was conducted by a group called Lizard Squad, the same group who claimed to have made similar attacks on Blizzard, developers of the waning World of Warcraft MMO and Riot Games, the creators of the ever popular League of Legends. Our sources say that “Sony’s Playstation Network was taken offline not by the attack, but by Sony itself, to prevent a potential data breach,” which is highly unlikely in the case of DDOS attacks. “Pulling the plug was a no-brainer for Sony. We had a network update scheduled for Monday anyway.” The Playstation Network has since gone back online and the DDOS attack has ended.
In a strange turn of events Lizard Squad used Twitter to announce that Sony Online Entertainment President John Smedley’s plane had explosives on board, causing it to be diverted and grounded. Throughout the day they compared themselves to the terrorist group ISIS and mocked the FBI’s efforts to track them. At one point, they Tweeted, “How do you successfully prosecute someone with 0 physical evidence?”
The reasons behind attacks like these are not always obvious. Often times, there is an attempt to extort the company being attacked with an offer to stop the attack upon payment. And sometimes a DDOS attack can be the result of a cyber turf war where certain groups or individuals engaged in malicious Internet activities against each other end up resulting in the collateral damage of legitimate companies like Sony or Blizzard.
If the Lizard Squad really is a terrorist group, then why would they pick on video game companies? Who knows, but this could have simply been a test run of sorts, or possibly a training mission for larger attacks to come. Then again, it could have been just a well organized group of cyber punks testing out their skills and seeing how deep they can go into the rabbit hole. Apparently, they know no bounds.
Update: In a recent development, another hacker has stepped out to take responsibility for the DDOS attack. A member of the Anonymous Group, “Fame” is now claiming that they were the source of the attack. As proof, they revealed all of the IP addresses of the Lizard Squad, an act of revenge for taking credit for Fame’s work.
Fame, who reportedly goes by the Twitter handle @Famedgod Tweeted the following: “Why must someone take credit of ones work? LizardSquad couldnt hurt a fly. Decrypting a memory dump and finding the server was all my work.” It is also rumored that Fame criticized Sony’s poor attempts at keeping their datacenter secure and said that they were too cheap to hire a proper team to get the job done. Fame also hinted that Microsoft’s Xbox One Network may be their next attack, though they seemed to have more respect for Microsoft’s security.