Millions of children and adults who expected to enjoy 25 December playing games on their Microsoft or Sony consoles were deprived of the chance by a Distributed Denial of Service attack (DDoS).
The attack, clearly timed to create the maximum amount of publicity and disruption, was directed at the PlayStation and Xbox servers the games consoles depend upon.
It prevented gamers from setting up their consoles, downloading games or joining others to play games online.
Although both networks are up and running again now Microsoft restored their service more than a whole day sooner than Sony – a final ignominy in a year to forget for them.
Hacking group Lizard Squad has claimed responsibility for the attack, having previously threatened both companies.
In an interview with Sky News a man speaking for the hackers claimed it was ‘basically’ the work of three people and they’d done it…
...to raise awareness, to amuse ourselves...
They [Microsoft and Sony] should have more than enough funding to be able to protect against these attacks.
In the event it was a different kind of funding that satisfied their ‘principles’.
Internet entrepreneur and console gamer Kim Dotcom engaged the vandals via Twitter on 26 December and offered them vouchers for his MegaPrivacy service worth $300,000 USD if they called off the attacks.
A tactic which worked, apparently.
A Christmas Miracle. How @MegaPrivacy saved @Xbox & @PlayStation from the @LizardMafia attack. Enjoy your games! 🙂
Speaking from Finland the Lizard Squad front man, calling himself Ryan but named by Brian Krebs as Julius Kivimäki, told Sky’s Joe Tidy that he didn’t feel any guilt about depriving people of their Christmas presents:
I'd be rather worried if those people didn't have anything better to do than play games on their consoles on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
I mean I can't really ... feel bad. I might have forced a couple of kids to spend their time with their families instead of playing games.
Ryan’s attempt to justify the attack as somehow doing some good, whilst shifting the blame to the victims and passing off the impact on gamers as inconsequential, is a stuck record we’ve heard many times before.
This is not what helping looks like, this is doing it ‘for the lulz’.
Ethical hackers, the kind who actually help improve security, use their skills to find bugs and report them quietly and responsibly so as to minimise collateral damage.
But a DDoS attack isn’t a skilful hack – it isn’t picking the lock, it’s blocking the door from the outside with as much rubbish as you can pile up.
You won’t see Lizard Squad earning bug bounties from Microsoft or appearing in Sony’s hall of thanks.
It isn’t for Lizard Squad, or anyone else, to decide how millions of people can or can’t spend their Christmas day.
And the gamers aren’t the only victims.
The attack itself was almost certainly launched from a large network of compromised computers that are owned and paid for by others. Computers that were broken into and used illegally and which have to remain compromised for groups like Lizard Squad to operate.
Lizard Squad aren’t interested in security, they’re in it for the lulz, and we know how that story ends.
23 comments on “Lizard Squad member ‘Ryan’ explains why it’s OK to ruin Christmas”
“I’d be rather worried if those people didn’t have anything better to do than play games on their consoles on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
I mean I can’t really … feel bad. I might have forced a couple of kids to spend their time with their families instead of playing games.”
Or, you know… people do get new video games for Christmas. Perish the thought that someone would want to test out their acquisition.
Jail the self-righteous morons
but he hadnt any better to do during xmas then to hack into sony and xbox? now what gives him the right to say what others should do then?
“I’d be rather worried if those people didn’t have anything better to do than play games on their consoles on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.”
…Says the bloke who spent his Christmas eve orchestrating a DDoS attack in front of a PC his mum’s basement.
Whilst I feel saddened by the idea that disabling a games console ruins christmas for some I feel some hostility towards the self righteous prick who thinks they have a right to decide what people should do with their leisure time. Making things is cooler than breaking things and involves just as much hacking.
I’ll even admit myself I have no time for games and never did, but his attack flies in the face of his argument on a number of levels. Kids may have spent the day playing games on a console with their ‘PARENTS’ so may have actually wanted to play and spend time with family and friends which he deprived them of. In the 70’s it would have been Swingball, but you don’t cut the ball off the string to force some family reunion when the item was the thing that was gong to bring people together. Argument 1 fail. Then, people shouldn’t be online,, but with family on Christmas day? Hmm DDoS isn’t mailed in, it’s online. I doubt he did it with his family, so he’s done himself exactly what he says he was essentially combating, being online on Christmas instead of with family. Argument 2 fail and total hypocrisy. Even if Sony/Microsoft had slack security like an open door, any decent person would say ‘do you know you left your door open’ not ransack the place. Time playing games on Christmas with family ‘IS’ what it’s about, Kerplunk, Ludo, Monopoly was old skool, these days its video games. LS just ruined millions of people’s Christmas for fun.
And who appointed them Masters of the Universe to decide who can and can’t do as they please with goods and services they chose and paid for?
They flatter themselves
They do it for kicks like all the other anti-social half-wits out there
Couldn’t even watch a movie with the kids and the rest of the family b/c of this crap on christmas eve on xbox live.
You don’t own a DVD? There’s no video shop you can rent a movie from? While I don’t agree with what they did, don’t whine about the things you can do something about.
Let’s say I did own a DVD player (I don’t), because it was 2004, and the crooks hadn’t done a DDoS, but instead had burned down the local DVD rentals place.
Would you be saying to me , “Surely you’ve got an old VCR? There’s nowhere you can rent a tape to tide you over?”
You’re equating a DDoS attack with arson………………………….
Nope. It’s a figure of speech, not an equation
What is this DVD thing you speak of?
Does it plug into netflix?
I think DVD means “digital video download,” sort of like YouTube but where you can watch the video later.
DVD – Old Skool!
Hope ‘Ryan’ enjoys a few Christmas days in prison as a lifer’s new honey….
Maybe ‘Ryan’ doesn’t know who his father is, so he wouldn’t have any personal experience of playing games with parents over Christmas. Illegitimi!
Whatever his views, he doesn’t have the right to decide what anyone does or doesn’t do on any day of the year. The crime he has committed is a form of terrorism, and should be treated as such by the authorities.
So he’s justifying his actions by saying he did something good by stopping people playing on their consoles and spend time with their families. Is he blind to the fact that he was playing on his computer instead of spending time with his family?!
I wonder if he really believes the nonsense he spews. What an idiot.
attacking a 75Bn$ company’s service and marketing presence is picking a fight in the wrong way. It will eventually make federal agencies develop a working process for dealing wih these kinds of attacks. Further, it wil bring the wrong kind of heat that you can’t stand and attention that you can’t diffuse or deflect.
Why does this creep still have a Twitter account? We all know the account name. Why hasn’t Twitter shut him down?
to those hackers, it is not your right to control others’ lives, God will see that you get what you deserve at some point, maybe at the pearly gates ???????????
Stop pretending that you are god