A hacker group used distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against two giants in the gaming industry, causing widespread service outages among users.
First, Lizard Squad, the self-professed “king of DDoS,” took down Xbox Live early last week. The ensuing outage lasted all of Monday night, with Microsoft support announcing that service had been restored on Tuesday.
Shortly after the service interruption occurred, Lizard Squad tweeted “Xbox Live #offline” and announced that they would gift Microsoft a “wonderful” Christmas present this year.
It would appear the group is living up to its promise. Later on Friday, Lizard Squad brought down Xbox Live again with another DDoS attack.
Xbox 360 users were disproportionately affected by the group’s second attack against Microsoft that week, though Xbox One also experienced some problems.
Then late last night on Sunday, Lizard Squad shifted its focus to Sony, which is still in the process of investigating a massive hack, and used a DDoS attack to bring down Sony Entertainment’s PlayStation Network (PSN).
The group has also claimed responsibility for bringing down Sony’s online PlayStation store, replacing the homepage with the text, “Page Not Found! It’s not you. It’s the Internet’s Fault.”
While service has been restored to PSN, the PlayStation store outage is still ongoing as of this writing.
Sony is no stranger to Lizard Squad. The hacker group attacked the tech giant in August earlier this year, causing a massive service interruption among North American users.
The group shortly thereafter tweeted that explosives were aboard an American Airlines flight on which Sony Entertainment President John Smedley was flying, causing the plane to be diverted.
These recent attacks against Xbox Live and Sony are just the beginning, according to Lizard Squad. On Christmas Day, the hacker group has announced that it will bring down Xbox Live, only this time, it promises that the attack will irreversibly cripple the service, causing the outage to last “forever.”
Whether the hacker group makes good on this promise remains to be seen. At any event, we can certainly expect additional attacks from Lizard Squad before this holiday season is over.