Hackers take down Sony PSN and XBox Live on Christmas Day

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playstation network down

Sony has had a rough time for the past week or so. First North Korea (apparently – but unconfirmed) takes their site down then a group of thugs takes down Playstation Network.  The fallout from the latter attack on Sony affected me and my family personally on Christmas Day as we were unable to play games delivered by Santa. The message from the Sony website claimed that engineers were looking into things, while a group called Lizard Squad claimed responsibility for the attacks. Lizard Squad also claimed to have taken down Xbox Live.

As you may be aware, the game Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare requires a connection to the Playstation Network as its a server based game. So for all of Christmas Day we were presented with the error “Unable to connect to server.” Fortunately on Boxing Day we successfully connected to the service.

 

Now why would a group proclaim to have broken down security for both the Xbox Live and Playstation Networks? To me this is the same as posting on Facebook that you’ve lit some cars on fire and looted some stores. You’re only setting yourself up to be caught. 

The problem is these guys think they’re smarter than everyone else. This will be their downfall. There’s always somebody smarter out there. This group isn’t any different than graffiti vandals. 

If you’re a big time criminal you certainly aren’t going to brag about what you’re doing on social media. You’re going to keep your trap shut and go about your business. I wouldn’t be surprised if these petty thugs are dragged from their parents’ basement within a few days.

 

 

The Daily Dot reported that, “[the] attacks against Microsoft and Sony maxed out at 1.2 terabits per second.” This was the claim made by Lizard Squad. If true, this was one of the largest distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks ever. We are still waiting for confirmation however. The previous record for a DDoS was the Cloudflare Content Delivery Network back in February 2014 according to reports at Ars Technica.

Anyways, all this being said, if I was an executive at either Sony or Microsoft heads would be rolling come Monday morning. Especially at Sony, these outages are becoming all too frequent. How can you run a business when it’s frequently being taken down with DDoS attacks or account information literally being stolen in other attacks. This is just not reasonable. Recall the 2011 hack of 77 million registered PlayStation Network accounts, it was one of the largest data security breaches in history according to Wikipedia contributors.

“The PlayStation Network outage was the result of an “external intrusion” on Sony’s PlayStation Network and Qriocity services, in which personal details from approximately 77 million accounts were stolen and prevented users of PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable consoles from playing online through the service. The attack occurred between April 17 and April 19, 2011, forcing Sony to turn off the PlayStation Network on April 20. On May 4 Sony confirmed that personally identifiable information from each of the 77 million accounts have been stolen. The outage lasted 23 days.”

These are just not the kind of records you want associated with your company. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s drastic staffing changes made at both Sony and Microsoft after these incidents.

 

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