It's a funny Christmas that gamers have experienced. While some of them unpacked their new game console received at the foot of the tree, their first connection to PlayStation Network or Xbox Live ended in failure. A priori a coup from the Lizard Squad collective.
These hackers claimed a cyber attack that paralyzed the services of Sony and Microsoft for several days. And these impediments to playing in circles are turbulent to say the least since they are not at their first attempt in the matter.
We may cringe and regret that both Sony and Microsoft do not have better protections in place to counter attacks against their networks. The fact remains that the recent past shows that distributed denial of service attacks remain difficult to thwart, regardless of the very security of a computer network.
At the end of last week, Microsoft re-launched Xbox Live, while Sony did the same for the PlayStation Network over the weekend. Residual disturbances are not entirely to be ruled out, but the general status of the two services is now marked operational.
Sony confirms in passing that " PSN and other game services have been attacked ", and explains that" high volumes of artificial traffic were generated to disrupt "Connectivity and the online gaming experience. This is indeed the robot portrait of a DDoS attack.
Kim Dotcom's interventionThe Lizard Squad group had indicated via Twitter that it had stopped attacks on PSN and Xbox Live the day after Christmas, and also thanked Mega and especially Kim Dotcom.
The famous Kim Dotcom, who launched the Mega service in January 2013 and remains entangled in the MegaUpload affair, seems to have played a role of negotiator. In this improvised role, the one who is also an inveterate gamer, dropped gift cards worth several hundred dollars in connection with the Mega service. This could also be interpreted as a form of ransom obtained by Lizard Squad?
Is this really what ended the attack? Asked via Skype from Finland by Sky News, a man posing as Ryan said he was part of the group of three people under the age of twenty who folded the PSN and Xbox Live. According to him, the motivation was not a ransom but the simple amusement.
He adds that he wanted " raise awareness about the low IT security of companies that generate tens of millions (editor's note: of dollars) each month "and are unable to protect themselves, suggesting that protection is also weak for their customers' data.
The Tor network in the viewfinder?It would no longer be Lizard Squad's intentions to attack PSN or Xbox Live … unless there is a new publicity stunt. The group, on the other hand, tweeted an ambiguous message concerning the test of a 0-day affecting the Tor anonymization network, summarizing the use of the latter by criminals and pedophiles.
Quickly, some 3,000 new nodes called LizardNSA appeared on the Tor network. The Tor project indicated that the new relays represented only less than 1% of the total network capacity. " We are working to remove these relays from the network before they become a threat. We do not expect any effects on the anonymity or performance of the Tor network. "
Difficult to follow in the case of Tor, the Lizard Squad group asked the Tor Project for an apology for falsely accusing it of an attack on the anonymization network. " There has never been an attack on Tor. We created 3,000 output nodes and connected them to the Tor network. "
Anonymous have had an epidermal reaction. They don't care about PSN or Xbox Live, but touching Tor is like an act of war. In the same amount of time, personal information about alleged members of Lizard Squad and an associated group called Finest Squad has been published online.