Hacker group Lizard Squad downs Sony PlayStation Network

Sony remains in the firing line of hackers – who have now brought down its PlayStation Network and PlayStation Store

Sony remains in the firing line of hackers who have now brought down its PlayStation Network and PlayStation Store.

But hacker group Lizard Squad has claimed responsibility, and not GOP – or "Guardians of Peace" – who said they downed Sony Pictures Entertainment’s network on 24 November 2014.

Sony’s PlayStation Network (PSN) became unreachable to PS4 and PS3 users just after midnight on Sunday 7 December 2014 UK time, reports the Express.

The Lizard Squad tweeted the message: "PSN Login #offline #LizardSquad."

Sony’s PSN was among several gaming networks downed by distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks in August 2014.

The attacks were linked to the jihadist group Islamic State, but a hacker linked to the Anonymous hacktivist collective later said PSN had been targeted to highlight vulnerabilities in Sony's system.

DDoS attacks are commonly used by competitors or activists to take services offline using a variety of techniques that make services impossible to reach.


Multiple attacks

Although some PSN users speculated that another DDoS attack was underway, this has not yet been confirmed by Sony.

Sony’s PlayStation Network was offline for more than three weeks in 2011 after a hack that compromised the personal information of millions of customers.

The outage on the PlayStation network comes a week after Lizard Squad claimed responsibility for a similar day-long outage on Microsoft Xbox network.

The Xbox network was hit with a DDoS attack that overloaded the system, stopping users from getting online, reported the BBC.

Lizard Squad said the Xbox attack was just "a small dose" of what was to come over the Christmas season.

Sony Entertainment in Tokyo said the latest outage of PlayStation Network lasted two hours, but had been fixed globally. However, at the time of writing, the PlayStation Store still appeared to be offline.

Sony Entertainment said the latest outage is under investigation, but there is no sign of any material being stolen, reports Phys Org.

In the attack on Sony Pictures two weeks ago, hackers are believed to have accessed a wide variety of data, including a list of employee salaries and bonuses; social security numbers and dates of birth; employee performance reviews; criminal background checks and termination records; correspondence about employee medical conditions; passport and visa information for film actors and crew; internal emails; and unreleased films.

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