Gaming, VR World

PSN and Xbox LIVE Hacked, Alleged Culprits Step Forward (Updated)

Update 2: The PlayStation Network is now online, but Xbox LIVE support is still reporting that “gaming and social” features are limited.

Xbox One and Xbox 360 owners are still unable to play games online and communicate over party chat, and the support team says that it’s “working alongside our partner to get these issues fixed ASAP”.

Update: As promised by both hacking groups, Xbox LIVE has been compromised.

This affects both the Xbox 360 and Xbox One platforms, cutting off services like social chatting and online gaming. Gamers can still buy and play owned content, view the website, and watch media across a host of different apps, but online play will not be available.

Original story as follows:

The PlayStation Network in North America has reportedly been targeted by a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack that has rendered the service offline, preventing users from access the PlayStation Store and other features.

President of Sony Online Entertainment John Smedley confirmed the attack in a Tweet:

In a recent update Sony Computer Entertainment of America confirms that both the PlayStation and Sony Entertainment networks have been struck by attempts to “overwhelm the networks with artificially high traffic”.

Sony planned to take the network down for “routine maintenance” tomorrow, and the outage led many to believe that the maintenance had just been launched a day early.

Sony insists that no personal information has been jeopardized by the DDoS attacks–credit card info, personal data, e-mails and login passwords should be safe.

ShackNews reports that the hacker group Lizard Squad has taken responsibility for the PSN outage on their Twitter account.

The squad made waves by recently hacking Blizzard’s networks that power popular online games like World of Warcraft, Diablo 3, and Hearthstone. The hackers soon escalated their attacks to other popular games including the free-to-play MMO Path of Exile and the ultra-popular MOBA League of Legends.

Lizards...EVERYWHERE.

Lizard Squad, a hacker collective, has taken responsibility for the DDoS attacks and even went so far as to call in a bomb threat on a Sony exec’s flight.

In another line of strike, Lizard Squad made a fake bomb threat on the flight that housed Sony Online exec John Smedley. The SOE President had confirmed the PSN DDoS just hours before this incident.

The threat was sent via Twitter, and resulted in the flight being diverted. The offense sent an eerie message that was felt by gamers and the corporation itself, and Smedley confirmed that “at this time the FBI is handling this directly“.

FamedGod, another hacker that may have ties with Anonymous, appears to be behind the attacks. The hacktivist admonishes Lizard Squad for taking the credit for the DDoS attacks, and even went so far as to publicly reveal the squad’s IP addresses on Twitter.

Both FamedGod and Lizard Squad appear to be going after Microsoft’s Xbox LIVE servers next, and it is difficult to tell who is responsible for these attacks–or who is really planning them.

This recent breach in security hearkens back to 2011’s PlayStation Network cyberattack that saw some 77 million users unable to connect to the service for 24 days.

The past network invasion has been counted as one of the largest data breaches in history, with “personally identifiable information” compromised from nearly all those affected.

As of the time of writing I am able to access the PlayStation Store on PS4, mobile and the web. PlayStation Network features such as voice chatting and multiplayer appear to be working, but service access may continue to be spotty and/or unreliable.

Although access may be returned soon, it’s a good idea to change your passwords and unlink your credit cards from both services until further notice. Gamers can avoid linking their credit card info by buying PSN vouchers that give you digital cash on your account, and the same can be picked up for Xbox LIVE.