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As the majority of you probably know, this has been a very sad Christmas for PSN and Xbox Live users. A coordinated DDoS attack brought down both services, leaving many people incapable of enjoying their Christmas presents. The attack was claimed by the infamous hacking group Lizard Squad. There’s no official confirmation from Sony or Microsoft about the group’s involvement in the matter, but considering they have been teasing the attack in the previous months and that they posted on twitter in the exact moment the services went down, it’s very likely they are behind it. Now, in an interview to the Daily Dot, they explain themselves. 

Why did they attack PSN and Xbox Live then? By the words of two members that go by Vinnie Omari and Ryan Cleary (the interviewer verified their involvement with the squad by asking them to make specific changes on the group’s website, post in an IRC chat and send tweets from LizardSquad’s twitter account), they conducted the hack to show the world the incompetence of Microsoft and Sony.

Microsoft and Sony are fucking retarded, literally monkeys behind computers. 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

So Lizard Squad is doing this to show the world that Microsoft and Sony are unprepared to face such attacks. They also say that those corporations could, with enough budget, prevent many disservices of this sort but are not willing to.

‘If I was working [at Microsoft or Sony] and had a big enough budget, I could totally stop these attacks,’ Cleary claimed. ‘I’d buy more bandwidth, some specific equipment, and configure it correctly. It’s just about programming skill. With an attack of this scale, it could go up to the millions. But that’s really no problem for Sony and Microsoft.’

So now that we know why, the question that remains is “how?” Sony and Microsoft are not exactly tiny companies. Even in the case that the accusations of incompetence from the hacking group are well-founded, it’s not an easy task to bring down two services of that size at the same time.

For obvious reasons Omari and Ryan didn’t detail their resources and methodologies, but what they implied is frankly scary.

We’ve just got a bunch of people with really particular skill sets, and we’ve been working to get access to some of the core routing equipment of the Internet. We’ve got some devices that are connected to the undersea cables that facilitate the Internet connects between the United States and Europe. We have access to some of the devices that are in the middle of the ocean that have something like 100-gigabit-per-second Internet connections. Not even the Russian government is doing attacks our size—they were only managing 100 gigabits per second against some Estonian websites.

Many people say Lizard Squad are not real hackers since DDoS is not hacking. They responded with this:

There’s plenty of people saying we’re not hackers and DDoS isn’t hacking. For attacks of this scale, you can’t really do them without either having access to insane amounts of funding or being able to gain access to the computers via hacking. You can’t just do DDoS attacks from your home computer. It doesn’t work.

Here, Cleary hints that Lizard Squad hacked and gained some kind of access to some of the infrastructures of Sony and Microsoft and, thanks to that, they’ve been able to launch a successful attack. If that turns out to be true, the implications could be worrying.

The group claims that their attack reached a peak of 1.2 terabits per second. Should that be true, it would be the largest DDoS ever. But we only have their words on that.

What you think of Lizard Squad’s actions? Do you think that their ends justify the means? Let us know in the comments


Luigi Savinelli

Staff Writer

Gamer since I can remember and now writer for your enjoyment. Can't say more. Those games will not play themselves