(Ping! Zine Issue 75) – In light of the recent hacking attempts on retailers, banks, and major corporations, it was only a matter of time until gaming networks would fall victim cyber crimes as well.
Hacking group Lizard Squad first made headlines in August where they took responsibility for bringing down multiple gaming networks such as PlayStation Now, Xbox Live, Battle.net, and League of Legends by using a large-scale denial of service (DDoS) attacks.
According to a report from Deadline, the group launched the multiple attacks due to the U.S bombing of Islamic extremists in Iraq, stating that users would be able to get back onto their networks once the bombings stop.
“Kuffar don’t get to play videogames until bombing of the ISIL stops. #ISIL #PSN #ISIS” said the group via Twitter.
Lizard Squad sent out another message shortly after to American Air stating that they “have been receiving reports that @j_smedley’s plane #362 from DFW to SAN has explosives on-board, please look into this.”
This tweet was in reference to Sony Online Entertainment’s President John Smedley who was traveling to San Francisco on the mentioned flight. The flight was diverted to Phoenix where all passengers and luggage were checked for explosives.
Sony later issued a statement acknowledging the attack, but noting that no personal information had been accessed.
“Like other major networks around the world, the PlayStation Network and Sony Entertainment Network have been impacted by an attempt to overwhelm our network with artificially high traffic. Although this has impacted your ability to access our network and enjoy our services, no personal information has been accessed.”
Lizard Squad claimed that they issued the PlayStation attacks because Sony was charging users for the PlayStation Plus service but not using the money to improve its services.
Days after the initial attacks, the cyber criminals once again attacked Riot’s League of Legends, causing issues with the login queue, loading the game, and its forums.
“I think we broke something,” said their first tweet, followed by “Leagues’s NA forums are displaying “500 internal error” for me. Woops.”
“Even EUW’s forums are lagging. The target was NA. lol’d,” taunted the group.
Though there is not much known about the group, Cole Stryker, author of “Hacking the Future: Privacy, Identity, and Anonymity on the Web,” said the hackers style is similar to that of former group LulzSec, ABC News reports.
“Very trollish, prankstery,” explained Stryker. “I don’t believe this person genuinely want to be involved in geopolitics. I think this person is just having a laugh.”
In regards to how the DDoS attacks are being accomplished, Stryker added:
“It can be a bunch of people getting on their computers and bombarding a website with dummy traffic in order to overload the servers or it could be a single actor who has access to a botnet, which is a network of compromised computers that have been taken over for the person conducting the attack. If it is one person, it is someone who has a wide network of computers under his control and the owners might now realize their machines are being compromised.”
Lizard Squad’s most recent attacks occurred in late September where they took down Call of Duty: Ghosts, Destiny, and EA.
Once again taking to Twitter, the group wrote, “Woah, I think there are some Ghosts haunting Destiny, followed by “Looks like our prediction was correct,” referring to a previous post claiming that there would be a lot of angry players.
EA’s recently released FIFA 15 was among many of the game’s offline, which also included Madden 15 and The Sims 4.
Authorities are still trying to determine the members of the group, though some think the group may be from outside of the United States due to their ISIS and 9/11 references, NewsFactor reports. Hacktivist group Anonymous recently posted data online suggesting they were the ones behind the PlayStation hack, leading many to believe what attacks Lizard Squad actually caused.
Lizard Squad has not caused any more issues since then, and their Twitter account is currently suspended.