Deja vu. That’s what some Playstation users were feeling this weekend when they couldn’t log online on their Playstation consoles. Thankfully, this weekend’s outage was nowhere near as bad as the breach back in 2011.
Sony’s Playstation network outage over the weekend was due to an outside attempt to “overwhelm” the company’s services.
This distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack clogs servers and takes down services from some people. Sony described the attack as “an attempt to overwhelm our network with artificially high traffic.”
Who was behind the DDOS attack? A group calling themselves Lizard Squad claimed credit. They also took credit for other attacks against major gaming companies including Blizzard Entertainment (World of Warcraft, Diablo) and Riot Games (League of Legends).
Sony Online Entertainment chief John Smedley confirmed its network was being impacted by the DDOS attack. Planetside 2 saw connection issues for much of the weekend. Things got more serious after the group sent a tweet to American Airlines saying Smedley’s flight from Dallas to San Diego had explosives on it. Smedley soon confirmed his flight was diverted to Phoenix.
Awesome. Flight diverted to Phoenix for security reasons.
— John Smedley (@j_smedley) August 24, 2014
An American Airlines spokeswoman confirmed his plane, Flight 362, was diverted to Phoenix “due to a security-related issue.”
That tweet got the attention of federal authorities. A Playstation spokeswoman said the FBI is investigating the diversion of Smedley’s flight.
Lizard Squad also threatened to take its attack to Microsoft’s Xbox Live Network. Some users were experiencing issues, but core services are up.
It’s important to note that no personal details were compromised this past weekend on the Playstation network. Online services were impacted for a day or two, and appear to be up and running now.