PSN and Xbox Live Christmas 2014 Outage Shows Sony and Microsoft’s Inability To Protect Their Consumers

People say computers is ‘the thing’ of the younger lot, they are fast, more accurate and have the hungry and enthusiasm for learning new things. But what happens when all these factors turn negative and result in huge losses of random types? When the computer was made along with the amazing ability of generating wonderful things with the help of coding, came the ability to hack and manipulate such codes.

The Lizard Squad

Some of us see hacking as a very challenging job which when successfully completed brings the hacker to glory. According to wikipedia:

“A hacker is one who enjoys the intellectual challenge of creatively overcoming and circumventing limitations of programming systems and who tries to extend their capabilities.”

The consequences of hacking do not matter to the hackers, they do it for fun.

The on going battle between the two hacker groups, The Lizard Squad and The Finest Squad is an example of such extreme hacking. The Lizard Squad came into the light with their first DDoS attacks on the servers of League of Legends on 18th August 2014.

Then there was no looking back for this group of people with excellent hacking abilities. The Lizard Squad also issued a bomb threat to the president of Sony Online Entertainment, John Smedley which started an FBI investigation against The Lizard Squad. Several websites, major online gaming servers, you name it and The Lizard Squad has taken them down.

In an interview, a member of The Lizard Squad admitted of getting paid for hacking into the servers, although according to him the one’s which they announce are not paid, they do it for free!

Currently this group is limited to making DDoS attacks (on record atleast) but what if they actually get into something which is far more dangerous for all of us? Bank accounts, personal information, our daily routines on our cell phones or tablets, or even our personal photographs which we happily save on the cloud for that extra space.

The Finest Squad

With the ongoing drama of DDoS attacks came into picture The Finest Squad, bad guys working for a good cause! This squad came into existence only to get the Lizard Squad behind bars. They claimed to have sent their information over to the FBI. The Finest Squad also has an informative website which claims to have all the details of the The Lizard Squad along with the personal information of their families (yeah! even I dint understand why target their relatives). Which is obviously full of fake information according to The Lizard Squad.

The Lizard Squad promised to take down Xbox Live and PlayStation Network on Christmas and they did. Disrupting services like the PSN and Xbox Live is not as easy as it sounds. Microsoft and Sony are the bosses of computers. Microsoft has a lion’s share in creating the computer that we all use today and taking down their services? Is the The Lizard Squad smarter than the people working at Microsoft and Sony or are there some loop holes in the service they provide us that a bunch of hackers can take them down the moment they feel like?

Christmas 2014 was ruined for many gamers despite both the giants being aware of potential attacks. Why take a hacker group for granted and pray that they would not attack instead of focusing on creating better protection against attacks of any kind. Even after three whole days this is what PlayStation had to say:

When the online world seemed to go into darkness on Christmas, Kim Dotcom proved to be the light at the end of a dark tunnel. He offered Lizard Squad 3,000 premium Mega Lifetime vouchers if they stop attacking Xbox Live and PSN not only during Christmas but forever.

Smart move as it totally worked and the attacks stopped, but the aftermath of these attacks was so huge that the services are not completely restored as I am writing this. I wonder what backup plan did Microsoft and Sony have if Kim Dotcom had not stepped in, message saying “We are aware of the situation” may be!

DDoS Attacks