A DDoS attack initiated by grey-hat hacker group Phantom Squad may have taken Microsoft’s Xbox Live online network offline for at least 3 hours today. If the hacker group’s threats are to believed, Sony’s PlayStation Network (PSN) may be next.
Gamers, look away. This is going to make for painful reading. For the second time in two years, a hacker group may be disrupting two of the most popular gaming networks in the console gaming world, Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network.
Hacked reported on the DDoS threats made by Phantom Squad a few days ago, after a series of tweets posted by the hacker group that also took credit for knocking Reddit offline recently. In a case of history repeating itself, the group is doing what infamous hacking group Lizard Squad did last year in December, disrupting gamers’ plans of going online with their consoles by taking down Xbox Live and PSN for several days last year.
While the new group Phantom Squad threatened to take down the gaming networks during Christmas, Xbox Live suffered an outage in certain parts around the world for a few years today. To nobody’s surprise, Phantom Squad took credit for the outage.
An update posted today on Xbox’s status website read:
Hey Xbox members, are you having trouble purchasing or managing your subscriptions for Xbox Live? Are you also having an issue with signing into Xbox Live? We are aware of these issues and are working to get it fixed ASAP! Thank you for being patient while we work. We’ll post another update when more information becomes available.
The message made no reference to any disruptions or DDoS attacks targeting the network although Microsoft nor Sony seldom acknowledge such attacks, even if they were bearing the brunt of such attacks.
For now, Xbox Live Status shows all services are up and running and it is likely that Microsoft has found an IP range or two to block the DDoS requests flooding the servers, a common defense strategy against such attacks.
Meanwhile, Phantom Squad has claimed that it will DDoS both gaming networks this Christmas Day.
So we are going to DDoS Xbox&PSN on Christmas Day We Dont Joke We Are Always Watching Christmas Day PSN&Xbox This Is Not A Bluff #Phantom
— PhantomSquad (@PhantomLair) December 18, 2015
The hacking group claims that the disruptions are to bring attention to the lack of cybersecurity in the gaming networks but gamers will argue the group is doing it simply to annoy a large population of console gamers looking to wind down and play games during the holidays.
Hacked has previously reported on several disruptive malicious hackers, including those from Lizard Squad who have been arrested not long after their antics from Christmas last year. One of the suspects was arrested in the UK in January this year while another was apprehended as a part of a wider operation in March 2015.
Hacked will keep you updated on this story as it unfolds in the week leading to Christmas.