After a full day of outages across many major platforms of entertainment, distributed from the group LizardSquad, later diverted to Anonymous, the United States Government is actively pursuing these so-called “hacktivists” for national security threats to infrastructure and threats against citizens of the US.
On what began as an ordinary day this morning, we were preparing our minds for the scheduled outage of the PlayStation Network to begin on Monday, only to be caught off guard as the PSN would not sign-in 24 hours ahead of schedule. Upon investigation, the hacking group “LizardSquad” had begun what is known as a Distributed Denial of Service attack on the PlayStation Network, as well as many other networks throughout the entertainment world. While these attacks remind us dearly of the 2011 attacks from rival hacking group Anonymous where all of Sony’s users had their personal information, as well as credit card information stolen, these attacks were at the time not managed by the same group and thought to be an annoyance, and not as much a threat to users.
Reaching later into the morning, LizardSquad exposed themselves on Twitter as the prime source of outage for Blizzard services, following closely with attacks on Sony and other services, culminating with the current move against Xbox LIVE. Opposing hacking group Anonymous stated that they provided the table set before LizardSquad as the group had not prepared the attack alone. While these attacks continue, tweets and messages continue to pour out from both groups and the FBI is now following up with investigation.
FBI investigations began earlier today after tweets from the LizardSquad group leader “Brian Wilson of Las Vagas, Nevada” took a serious turn. Beginning with an open message against American Airlines flight 362, where the in-flight cargo may contain a bomb, the President of Sony Online Entertainment had been given serious concern to his safety. Using the hashtag “#PrayForFlight362”, LizardSquad forced a re-direction of the flight originally scheduled to land in the San Diego International Airport. Later landing in a secured Phoenix location, the American Airlines plane was searched thoroughly for explosives with no result.
— Lizard Squad (@LizardSquad) August 24, 2014
Having followed up on this extreme form of threat, the matter of DDoS attacks which has begun with LizardSquad and taken over by Anonymous is causing a major national stir, and will unlikely result in positive change for anyone. With the intent of showing how vulnerable these networks have become to attack, there is no reasonable solution to DDoS aside from the diversion of traffic and expanded infrastructure. Expect intermittent service, and let’s hope for a speedy recovery of our systems as the US government works toward a solution.