It seems that at least two hacker groups have gone to war over the Christmas outage of PlayStation and Xbox online gaming network. How bad it will get is unknown but it seems that the mysterious hacker group Anonymous is not pleased with Lizard Squad for their attacks and has declared war. The group has released two ominous video messages aimed directly at Lizard Squad
Lizard Squad began its attacks on Christmas day when hackers shut down not only Sony’s PlayStation online gaming but also Microsoft’s Xbox. The problem lasted well into Friday and as of Saturday Sony’s network was still down. It’s still unclear why Sony is taking so long to restore its service. According to reports Sony was hit the same style of attack that took down Microsoft’s Xbox Live network. Microsoft is slowly recovering. Sony has not said much about why they are still down.
Sony’s official PlayStation support tweeted at 2:30AM ET Saturday, “Our engineers are continuing to work hard to resolve the network issues users have experienced today. Thanks for your continued patience.” Sony has not said much more.
So what happened? It seems that Sony may have been hacked by the group calling itself the Lizard Squad. Neither Sony or Microsoft has admitted to being hacked or said anything beyond it was working to fix the problem. Microsoft Xbox spokesman Sean McCarthy stated “we don’t share info on the root cause of specific issues.” But Lizard Squad claimed full responsibility with these tweets.
Lizard Squad also claimed to have attacked Sony earlier this month and promised additional “Christmas presents” would soon be coming. “Unlike Santa, we don’t like giving all of our Christmas presents out on one day. This entire month will be entertaining,” Lizard Squad tweeted.
Lizard Squad claimed it took down the PlayStation Network in August by flooding it with illegitimate traffic. This type of attack is known as a denial-of-service attack (DDoS). The result was that millions of gamers being unable to play together online.
It has become apparent these hackers are a serious danger even threatening aircraft in flight. When John Smedley, president of Sony Online Entertainment, tweeted a response to the August outage he became a target himself while traveling at 30,000 feet. “We have been receiving reports that @j_smedley’s plane #362 from DFW to SAN has explosives on-board, please look into this,” the group tweeted to American Airlines. The ominous tweet resulted in the flight being diverted.
But this is not just a war between Anonymous and Lizard Squad. The group was attacked by another group calling itself Finest Squad and revealed to law enforcement. It was thought that Lizard Squad was finished. As we see this was not so.
Lizard Squad re-emerged with a new Twitter account and again took down Sony. But Lizard Squad was appeased by yet another controversial Internet figure; Kim Dotcom, Founder of MegaUpload.com. Kim and MegaUpload have quite a history of legal trouble himself.
According to tweets from Lizard Squad the group stopped the attack after Kim Dotcom contacted Lizard Squad directly and promised them 3,000 Lifetime accounts on Mega’s encrypted upload service.
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) December 26, 2014
Lizard Squad accepted and ceased the attack.
Lizard Squad gave full credit to Dotcom with being the peacemaker and saving Christmas.
The question to be answered is; if the attacks have stopped why was Sony offline so much longer than Xbox? The possible answers include; serious damage was done to Sony’s network and they are in repair mode. Or Sony maybe making sure they are secure against a future attack and will remain offline until they feel safe. Or someone else is carrying out an extended attack and remaining silent about it. No one really knows.
As for Kim Dotcom Anonymous has a different opinion of him and wrote on their website; “Kim Dotcom is wanted by the U.S. government for copyright infringement related to his former file-sharing website Megashare which has been taken by the U.S. Government. He took the time to take a dig at the United States with his example of diplomatic outreach.”
Kim Dotcom responded;
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) December 26, 2014
But the most disturbing factor is that we see hackers holding someone’s property hostage and actually getting what they wanted. Although I have some serious doubts that Lizard Squad did all this just get some free services from Kim Dotcom. That makes no sense.
Breaking It Down
Anyone black person who reads this blog entry and thinks its just about some gamers and hackers going at each other is either sadly mistaken or cyber stupid. This is a demonstration of the power of Internet technology in the hands of motivated and hidden cyber villains. The real problem is that this same battle is really part of a more dangerous and potentially deadly war and I warn black people to wake up to it. Replace Playstation and Xbox with a name like Vogtle and Palo Verde, America’s largest nuclear power plants. Now what if a malicious hackers decided that they was going to hold that reactor hostage until America pays them or does something else the hacker wants. Can we expect someone like Kim Dotcom to save the world then? That level of cyber terrorism is quite possible. What if a hacker decided to take down the stock exchange leading to a economic catastrophe? The simple fact is all this is possible and more. So when you hear about Sony Pictures being hacked or other hacks you need to think long and hard about what is happening. Consider the fact that soon one of these hacks will set a new record for its impact on people including you and your family. It will be deliberate, it will be terrifying, it will change your life and it could be tomorrow.