Lizard Squad Claims PlayStation Network Attack

Editor
Updated

Even if you just want to zone out and play video games for a few hours, you can't escape the reach of people behaving badly on the Internet. If you found yourself unable to log into the PlayStation Network (PSN) over the weekend, that's because it was very likely knocked offline on purpose, with a group of trolls called Lizard Squad claiming responsibility for the presumed attack.

PSN experienced severe issues on Sunday, Dec. 7, with Sony acknowledging its difficulties at 8:40 PM EST via the Ask PlayStation Twitter feed. However, those following Lizard Squad, a well-known group of online troublemakers, already knew what was (probably) happening. A tweet one hour earlier from Lizard Squad read: "PSN Login #offline #LizardSquad."

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During PSN's downtime, players were largely unable to access the PlayStation Store, download updates, use streaming media services or play online with friends and rivals. The issue affected users on PS3, PS4, PS Vita and PS TV systems.

For those not familiar with Lizard Squad, there's not much to know. The group prides itself on trolling anyone and everyone it feels might be worth a laugh, and claimed responsibility for a similar hack of Xbox Live last week. Unlike the hacker group Anonymous (which Lizard Squad despises), there's no veneer of social responsibility or vigilante justice; it's more into mayhem for mayhem's sake.

As to whether or not Lizard Squad really brought down PSN, that's harder to say. The timing is right, and Lizard Squad has claimed responsibility for similar thingsin the past. However, Sony has not confirmed an attack of any kind, and Lizard Squad offered no proof of its exploits other than one brief tweet.

Either way, PlayStation Network is up and running again, and Sony says that it is currently investigating the cause. Even if Lizard Squad was responsible for the hack, it's unlikely that we'll ever know exactly what happened.

Marshall Honorof is a Staff Writer for Tom's Guide. Contact him at mhonorof@tomsguide.com. Follow him @marshallhonorof. Follow us @tomsguide, on Facebook and on Google+.