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Hackers Hit Sony, Again

A group calling itself the Lizard Squad is claiming responsibility for an attack on the PlayStation Network.

grapegeek / iStockphoto

Hackers hit a second division of Sony today. Sony’s PlayStation online gaming network was offline for more than two hours as a result of an apparent cyber attack.

The outage occurred Monday morning Tokyo time.

https://twitter.com/PlayStation/status/541775404822827008

The Lizard Squad group claimed responsibility via its Twitter account. It has claimed responsibility for at least two other outages earlier this month on Microsoft’s Xbox Live network. Sony did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

https://twitter.com/LizardPatrol/status/541751366297743360

The attack comes after Sony Pictures Entertainment suffered a devastating hacking attack that first crippled its corporate network, then escalated over two weeks into leaks of sensitive corporate information, five films and emailed threats against employees and their families. North Korea has been suspected in having a hand in those attacks, having threatened retaliation for a film about an assassination attempt on its leader. It officially denied any involvement.

The Lizard Squad’s method for the attacks appear to be a DDOS, or Distributed Denial of Service. In these cases, an attacker harnesses a large number of computers, usually remotely controlled using malicious software, and uses them to overwhelm an Internet service with too much inbound traffic. The targeted service typically becomes unavailable for legitimate users. Lizard has employed these types of attacks on Steam, Blizzard and other gaming networks used by PC and Mac users.

Last week via its Twitter account the group implied that it would be active in carrying out several attacks in December.

https://twitter.com/LizardPatrol/status/541307057480425472

Aside from DDOS attacks against gaming networks, the group has also threatened the lives of gaming company executives. In August, following another DDOS attack against Sony, someone using the Lizard Squad Twitter account and tweeted that explosives might be aboard a plane carrying Sony Computer Entertainment CEO John Smedley. The Dallas-to-San Diego flight was ultimately grounded.

Sony’s PlayStation Network has been a frequent target for hackers with an axe to grind against the company. In 2011 it came under a brutal assault that forced Sony to shut the service down for about three weeks and which resulted in the theft of personal information of some 77 million customers.

This article originally appeared on Recode.net.

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