Xbox Live, PSN Back Online After Holiday DDoS Attacks
The hacker group Lizard Squad claims responsibility for knocking both Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network offline during Christmas.Unhappy holidays awaited new Xbox One and PlayStation 4 owners last week. Microsoft's Xbox Live service and Sony's PlayStation Network (PSN) were essentially knocked offline on Dec. 25 after a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack rendered them unreachable. Xbox Live and PSN provide online multiplayer and media services for the companies' respective game consoles. Both services have since been restored. Groups that stage DDoS attacks typically marshal the resources of several computers, often as part of a botnet, to flood online services with traffic and overwhelm their servers. DDoS attacks have emerged as a major concern for online companies. In Verisign's third-quarter DDoS trends report, the security software specialist discovered that high-bandwidth attacks (10G bps and up) grew by 38 percent from the previous quarter and now account for 20 percent of all attacks. Lizard Squad, a hacking group suspected of having a role in recently disconnecting North Korea from the Internet, claimed responsibility for the attacks on Microsoft and Sony in a series of provocative tweets. On Dec. 25, the group tweeted "Xbox Live #offline" followed by "PSN #offline" on its @LizardMafia account.
Commenting on the frustration felt by gamers who had received Xboxes and PlayStations as gifts, Lizard Squad then tweeted, "I wonder how many people tried to return their new console thinking it was broken."