Sony’s Playstation Network and other online gaming platforms were hit with malicious cyber attacks earlier this week, allegedly by a hacktivist or group calling itself “Lizard Squad” and claiming ties to Islamic militants.
Sony Online Entertainment, Battle.net (the server for the popular online game World of Warcraft), Xbox Live and others were hit with a distributed denial of service attack from roughly August 24 through 25. “Lizard Squad” declared on Twitter it had “planted the ISIS flag on @Sony’s servers,” referring to the Islamic State militant group. The hacker kept a running tally of reports of service disruptions on the “Lizard Squad” Twitter account. Cyber journalist Brian Krebs reported on Twitter that his site was
The reason appeared to be anger at corporate greed, with the Twitter miscreant reporting, “Why do we do it? Multi-million dollar companies aren’t spending your money to ensure your game has good service. DDoS is so old it’s funny.”
During the service disruptions, Lizard Squad demanded repeatedly that various targets on Twitter post pictures of themselves with “Lizard Squad” written on their foreheads or they too would be hit with DDoS attacks.
John Smedley, president of Sony Online Entertainment, tweeted, “We are under attack by a large scale ddos. Being dealt with but it will impact games until its [sic] handled” during the event.
However, Smedley also noted that, while traveling during the DDoS attack, his plane was diverted due to bomb threats. Lizard Squad also claimed responsibility for this particular threat, a new hacker tactic known as “swatting.” Swatting consists of making false threats in order to cause SWAT teams to be sent out to respond to the threats.