Home Hacker Grinches Steal Christmas From Online Gamers

Hacker Grinches Steal Christmas From Online Gamers

A group of hackers calling itself “Lizard Squad” has claimed responsibility for repeatedly taking down both XBox Live and PlayStation Network over the holidays. 

As of Friday morning, Xbox Live is up and running, but the PlayStation Network is still offline. Both services are necessary to effectively use their respective video game consoles. Lizard Squad is believed to be using distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) to overwhelm XBox and Playstation servers with too much Internet traffic. Neither Microsoft nor Sony responded to media requests to confirm the nature of the issue. 

An apparently separate hacking group, calling itself Finest Squad, has been fighting back against Lizard Squad’s attempts to take down XBox. According to Finest Squad, the PlayStation Network is currently offline due to an executive decision by Sony. 


That would be consistent with this tweet from the account @LizardMafia:


And indeed, Lizard Squad now appears to be attacking relays of the anonymizing Tor network.

Lizard Squad has been a thorn in the side of gamers since August. In particular, the group appears to have it out for Sony. Earlier this year, it created a bomb scare for a flight with a Sony executive on board. It’s also repeatedly attacked the PlayStation Network and may be implicated in both the 2011 cyber attack on Sony as well as the more recent, prominent hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment, which had been largely attributed to North Korea. 

Photo by James Case

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