Xbox Live and the Playstation Network have received yet another holiday hacking threat.
For the past week, hacker group Phantom Squad has been issuing threats to knock out both systems’ online services with distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. The group said in a tweet they plan to take down Xbox Live and PSN on Christmas for a week straight.
The two companies aren’t the only network servers that Phantom Squad has threatened. They have also laid their eyes on “Grand Theft Auto V,” “Star Wars: The Old Republic,” and “Call of Duty: Black Ops 3.” They claim to have already started making attacks on these networks.
The group also claimed it took Reddit offline Tuesday morning in an attack. The website did indeed go down, and according to Reddit’s status website, it was because the databases came “under extreme load.” This would line up with a DDoS attack, which overloads servers with fake requests.
The group has drawn similarities to Lizard Squad, a hacker group that shut down Xbox Live and PSN last year on Christmas and Christmas Eve. At the time Lizard Squad claimed they had carried out the attack to force companies to upgrade the security on their networks. Phantom Squad, which claims no affiliation with Lizard Squad, is carrying out the attacks “because cybersecurity does not exist.”
Internet mogul Kim Dotcom ended last year’s attack by brokering a deal with Lizard Squad, offering them 3,000 accounts on his encrypted upload service Mega. Dotcom was vocal on Twitter when threats of the new attack surfaced.
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) December 14, 2015
Hopefully Microsoft and Sony have managed to make security upgrades following the Lizard Squad attack–otherwise gamers may very well be having another Christmas without network connectivity.