Lizard Squad: The hacker group who brought down Sony, Xbox One

On Christmas day, Microsoft’s Xbox Live and Sony’s PlayStation experienced user connection problems for which a hacker group called Lizard Squad claimed responsibility.

On Christmas day, Microsoft’s Xbox Live and Sony’s PlayStation Networks experienced user connection problems for which a hacker group called Lizard Squad claimed responsibility.

While Xbox Live was back after a day, Sony's PlayStation Networks experienced an outage for nearly three days and it was only yesterday that the company confirmed that the network was back up and running.

So who are the Lizard Squad and what is their claim to fame? According to this post on Daily Dot, the group carried out a massive distributed denial of service attack (DDOS attack) which led to a complete worldwide outage for both services.

Daily Dot spoke to the hackers as well. While one called Vinnie Omari is only 22 and started the attack after waking up from a night of getting wasted, the other is Ryan Cleary. Of course these are not the real names of the attackers.

According to Daily Dot the hackers attacked Microsoft and Sony to show the 'incompetence' of these companies. “Microsoft and Sony are f**king retarded, literally monkeys behind computers,” Omari told the site.

“They would have better luck if they actually hired someone who knew what they were doing. Like, if they went around prisons and hired people who were convicted for stuff like this, they would have a better chance at preventing attacks,” he added.

The attack was so successful because according to Cleary they had access to "some devices that are connected to the undersea cables that facilitate the Internet connects between the United States and Europe and like 100-gigabit-per-second Internet connections."

Even as the group went along with the attack, another rival hacker group call Finest Squad wanted to do the Christmas Day attack, but they failed.

The Lizard Squard which currently has a Twitter account called Lizard Mafia, wrote this on their timeline after the attack:

So why did the attack stop? According to the report and based on the Lizard Squad's timeline, it was because Mega founder Kim Dotcom offered the group vouchers worth nearly $300,000 that can be used in an underground black market.

Meanwhile Kim Dotcom tweeted this out saying he had engineered some sort of treaty between the various hacker groups.

Not only did the group bring down PSP Networks and Microsoft Xbox Live, they even threatened to take down a plane, adds a report in Forbes.

The report points out that the group tweeted saying the flight carrying Sony Online Entertainment President John Smedley had explosives on board and then American Airlines diverted the plane to Phoenix and confirmed it was for a security-related matter. The boast got the FBI involved into the investigation.

The report adds that Smedley also tweeted out saying, “Yes. My plane was diverted. Not going to discuss more than that. Justice will find these guys.” The tweet is no longer visible on his timeline.

The Lizard Squad group also appears to be in some sort of confrontation with Anonymous, the hacker collective which is more widely known.

The group tweeted out saying, "Looks like Anonymous still hasn't done shit. Who's surprised?" Another tweet said, "I think you should stick to defacing random sites nobody cares about with #op[InsertBullshitName] and wearing masks from party city."

Interestingly the group were mocked the FBI’s efforts to hunt them down and even compared themselves to ISIS. According to the Forbes report they tweeted, “How do you succesfully[sic] prosecute someone with 0 physical evidence?” with videos of the events of 9/11."

They tweeted earlier this month,

For now it appears that the group has indeed stopped its attack. However for many gamer fans Christmas was ruined as they couldn't log into their PS4 or Xbox One.

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