Friday, December 26, 2014

Sony Playstation Network Still Down Due to Hackers

If you haven’t already heard, or been experiencing it yourself, Sony’s PlayStation Network is still down as of a few minutes ago. Their engineering team continues to deal with the aftermath of a hacking group called “Lizard Squad”, who also crashed Microsoft’s Xbox Live at the same time. Microsoft has gotten Xbox Live back up already and given the events of the 2011 PlayStation network hack, it’s a surprise that Sony is still down. At least this time no user account information seems to have been leaked due to the attack.

Neither Microsoft, nor Sony has provided an explanation for the network disruptions. It has been linked to a high-profile breach at Sony Pictures due to North Korea’s opposition to the film “The Interview.” However, other than the fact that the FBI has identified North Korea to be the culprit, there has been no direct correlation to the film.

The attacks originated on Christmas Day - an even bigger surprise to those who received new consoles as gifts. Users typically have to update their consoles with the company’s online network before even being able to use the console.

Lizard Squad has posted a few comments on their Twitter account about the hack - even as far back as August when they essentially promised an attack on Christmas Day. According to an encrypted online conversation posted on the website WinBeta, the group hacked the networks “just for laughs.” However, they later commented that they were trying to show how vulnerable the companies were. Going on to say they were “forcing the companies upgrade their security as a result.”

The reason they decided to stop the attacks - which they described as a “distributed denial of service attack” on the companies - was due to a response from Kim Dotcom, a New-Zealand based entrepreneur. Dotcom runs an encryption and secure data storage service he calls MegaPrivacy. He offered Lizard Squad vouchers for his service (valued at $99 each) if they ceased the attacks. No further comments have been seen.