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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



  • Kord Ogden

    You want to prove a point? That’s fine, take it down for a few hours. No what they did was beyond proving a point and they know it. Taking down a service for 3+ days is not “Making a point.” Yes it’s down right now because of the aftermath and what not, put it is still their fault. Anyone who got a PS4 or games for that system’s Christmas got ruined. Does Sony need to fix their shit? Of course they do but you don’t go about it the way Lizard Squad did. They deserve to be in jail for the shit they’ve pulled.

  • Doc Hammer

    Script kiddies DDoS a server and run their mouths about programming skill? If they had an ounce of this fabled “skill,” they’d already be employed by the people they target. But by all means guys, keep up the “good work”, we’re all very impressed.

  • rpsgc

    No one cares about their ‘reasons’.

  • Ryan Barrett

    All I’ll say is sometimes in order to make an omelette, you gotta break a few eggs.

  • ArsCortica

    It is one thing to point out the weak security of either service. It is another thing entirely to keep both down for three days, especially during the Christmas seasons, when thousands if not millions of consumers are hoping to get a chance to play the video games they’ve been gifted for Christmas. There is nothing laudable about that.

  • Cy

    Fucking loser trolls, that’s all they are, no matter what BS “reasons” they try to give. The only thing they’re proving is that this country needs better ways to find and arrest cyberterrorists. A few years in Guantanamo Bay should go a long way in getting them to grow up.

  • Iminspace

    Say, uh, weren’t they hacked by another group? I seem to recall that their personal information was floating around, and the basic gist of it was that they were between the ages of 14 and 18.

  • hurin

    Reminds me of the asshole who hacked Valve and delayed the release of Half-Life II for a whole year. He also had ‘reasons’, and was trying to prove a ‘point’.
    Well guess what, no one who tried logging on gives a shit and neither do I. I hope you get caught and spend years in jail.

  • hurin

    I hope their cellmates share that opinion.

  • WhiteNut

    Well you’re more than welcome to make that omelet and break as many eggs as you wish. But you don’t go over to someone’s house and tie up their stove and their groceries to do so and expect them to be cheery about it when you leave with a huge mess for them to deal with.

  • Fenrir007

    Someone really wants to be hired as a security consultant on Sony or Microsoft.

  • DRE

    You morons couldn’t have done this on a fucking week day like Monday?, you’re fucking with my holiday gaming time

  • bdp

    Overloading servers has nothing to do with security.

  • Nick

    I just want to point out that the prevalence of interconnected gaming only makes the problem worse. I think there may be a point somewhere about how disruption of the internet shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying your console.. But I’m sure there were lots of people that wanted to play multiplayer games over the internet on the services and couldn’t. Does anyone know if this prevented people from using their devices completely? Or if it only caused multiplayer service problems.

    Also as an aside, the fact that all xbox apps requires being connected to XBL to even function is mindbogglingly stupid.

  • Erthwjim

    Well botnet’s aren’t that expensive I gather, especially when they might actually own the botnet. http://krebsonsecurity.com/2014/12/cowards-attack-sony-playstation-microsoft-xbox-networks/
    But given enough infected computers in a botnet they can still take down the networks, even with strong protection against a ddos attack.

  • Captain Guano

    What idiotic reasoning. That’s like going into a grocery store before a big snowstorm, pissing on all the bread and then saying “it’s the grocery store’s fault, they have enough money to hire guards and put in protective anti-piss lasers! I’M JUST PROVING A POINT!!”

  • OneClassyBloke

    I’m surprised they didn’t claim this was a protest against always online/day one patches. That angle makes a hell of a lot more sense to me considering the timing of the attack.

  • Stuart Lee Burns

    I would have been happier if they had just said it was in protest of mass consumerism. I would have swallowed that a lot more readily than “We’re just proving a point about them being incompetent.” We’ve always known they were incompetent.

  • AlienPickle

    Bullshit.

    “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.”

    Then they say…

    “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.”

    So wait… you pwnt the intercontinental backbones, but your point is to say MS and Sony are weak? I think you kids have missed the point. MS and Sony are nothing if you can cut the intercontinental backbone routes. Is this guy the best spokesman you’ve got?

  • draconian139

    They supposedly had their personal information leaked by a group calling themselves Finest Squad. Most of the info leaked led to disconnected phone numbers or people that obviously would have nothing to do with this like a 71 year old woman who didn’t even know what a Playstation is. http://t.co/wxrDXcq6Kn