Hacker group Phantom Squad plans to shut down Xbox Live and PlayStation Network on Christmas.
Forget the Grinch, there’s someone else who wants to steal Christmas.
Phantom Squad, an online hacker group, has threatened to shut down Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network this Christmas by unleashing a series of DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks — coordinated barrages of falsified incoming server traffic that causes the system to crash.
DATA BREACHES AND CYBERATTACKS IN 2015
“We are going to shut down Xbox Live and PSN this year on Christmas,” the hackers tweeted. “And we are going to keep them down for one week straight. #DramaAlert.”
We are going to shut down Xbox live and PSN this year on christmas. And we are going to keep them down for one week straight #DramaAlert
— Phantom Squad (@PhantomSqaud) December 9, 2015
This could cause a big problem, because a lot of people are expecting to receive new gaming consoles on Dec. 25.
If Phantom Squad is successful, this would be the second year in a row that these gaming networks go offline.
Last year, the infamous hacker group Lizard Squad took credit for shutting down Xbox Live and PSN for two days. The group demanded more retweets and Twitter followers in exchange for restoring the servers.
Phantom Squad, which said it has no relation to Lizard Squad, claims they’ve previously performed smaller outages on the gaming community servers, as well as other website such as Reddit.
The group also explained in a tweet why it is that they perform these attacks.
“I get asked a lot on why we do this? Why do we take down PSN and Xbox Live?” the tweet reads. “Because cyber security does not exist.”
Sony and Microsoft have both received a series of attacks over the past year, but it’s still unknown what tactics they’ve developed to try and avoid these issues.
Kim Dotcom, the infamous Internet entrepreneur behind Megeupload, has warned Sony and Microsoft that the attack could be avoided if they update their servers.
“Warning @Sony & @Microsoft. You had 1 year to upgrade your networks. If Lizard Squad takes down PSN & XBOX this Xmas, we’ll be pissed! RT!,” Dotcom tweeted.
Dotcom, who is also a gamer, helped stop last year’s attack by promising the hackers 3,000 accounts on his encrypted upload service Mega.
While Sony and Microsoft work on strengthening their servers, people who bought a console as a gift this Christmas can unbox it, plug it in, and download all the updates as soon as they buy it. This process will let them at least play games offline on Christmas.
Otherwise, if the hackers release a DDoS attack, the console will be useless without being powered on and updated.