Playstation Network and Xbox Live went down on Christmas Day, to the inevitable chagrin of anyone who found a game or two in their stocking this year. Sony Online Entertainment chief John Smedley confirmed that the service interruptions were a result of denial of service (DDOS) attacks.
The group responsible for the attacks is known as ‘Lizard Squad’, who admitted to being the ones behind the DDOS attacks on World of Warcraft and League of Legends in August, along with an earlier Playstation Network attack in the same month.
Currently, Xbox Live is up and running but limited, while PSN is down for an unknown period of time. The original Lizard Squad had ceased the attacks early Christmas, but a different group riding on the publicity of the original DDOS team set up a fake Twitter account in a trolling attempt. The fake “Lizard Squad” tweets seem to imply that they’re holding the network hostage, so to speak, unless people tweet #VerifyCrucifix. The group is also sending out tweets claiming popular videogame titles such as Destiny and Call of Duty: Ghosts on the Playstation Network are now free, presumably to attract more attention.
“Although this has impacted your ability to access our network and enjoy our services, no personal information has been accessed,” says Sony in the statement. Panicking is unadvisable at this point – a DDOS attack is just an artificial traffic jam.
Additionally, Smedley found that his flight to San Diego had been diverted to Phoenix “due to a security related issue”. Lizard Squad had sent a tweet to American Airlines claiming that the chief’s plane had explosives on board, immediately prompting the airline company to meet the flight in Phoenix with the proper authorities.
Sony’s previous PSN hacking in 2011 gives the company a good reason to be anxious about the attacks. 77 million accounts were compromised during a hacking attempt that kept the network down for a month, and although this round of hackers seems to be focused on simply overloading the servers, the worry surrounding this issue is understandable.
UPDATE: As of Sunday, Dec. 28, Sony has reported that the Playstation Network is back online.
“PlayStation Network is back online,” Sony states in a recent blog update. “As you probably know, PlayStation Network and some other gaming services were attacked over the holidays with artificially high levels of traffic designed to disrupt connectivity and online gameplay. This may have prevented your access to the network and its services over the last few days. Thanks again for your support and patience.”
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