In Brief

PlayStation hit by hackers who threaten Sony chair's plane

Hackers claiming affiliation with Islamic State issue bomb threat and claim responsibility for denial of service attack

Sony says its PlayStation Network has recovered after it came under attack from hackers over the weekend, with some claiming to be acting on behalf of Islamic State militants.

The attack coincided with a threat against US Sony executive John Smedley, whose plane was grounded after a bomb scare.

On Sunday night, Smedley confirmed the news, posting a Twitter update which read: "Yes. My plane was diverted. Not going to discuss more than that. Justice will find these guys."

Yes. My plane was diverted. Not going to discuss more than that. Justice will find these guys.

 

— John Smedley (@j_smedley) August 24, 2014

Sony's PlayStation Network, which allows gamers to play multiplayer videogames against one another online, was hit with a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, which bombards an online service with traffic from multiple sources in an attempt to make it unavailable.

A Twitter account called Lizard Squad claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was associated with Islamic State militants, Sky News reports.

One message from the account read: "Kuffar [non-Muslims] don't get to play videogames until bombing of the ISIL stops". Another said: "Today we planted the ISIS flag on Sony's servers".

Today we planted the ISIS flag on @Sony's servers #ISIS #jihad pic.twitter.com/zvqXb2f5XI

 

— Lizard Squad (@LizardSquad) August 24, 2014

It is still unknown whether Lizard Squad actually had anything to do with Sony's disruption.

Other popular gaming sites including Riot's League of Legends and Blizzard's Battle.net were subjected to similar attacks, the Irish Independent reports.Battle.net, the server for popular games such as World of Warcraft and Hearthstone was targeted early on Sunday morning, but was back up by 10am. While the attack would have had little impact on most British players, it occurred at a peak time for the US.

In a statement, Sony said that the attack on its servers had caused a disruption to its online gaming service but said that hackers did not enter its network or gain access to any of its 53 million users' data.

Attacks on servers are now "a common part of the games business," The Guardian notes. Electronic Arts and Ubisoft have also had their online services attacked. Lizard Squad and another hacker called Famed God said that Xbox would be their next target.

Xbox is Next. #ProjectMicro

 

— Fame (@FamedGod) August 24, 2014

Before mentioning ISIS, Lizard Squad had claimed that the attack was a bid to pressure Sony to spend more money on its network, the Daily Mail reports.

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