It’s been a rough couple weeks for the multinational media and technology conglomerate Sony. For the second time, one of the company’s major assets has been the target of hacker mischief. This time, the target wasn’t Sony Pictures, the company’s film division, but rather its large, lucrative PlayStation network. Hackers were able take the PlayStation network offline for several hours starting Sunday night and into Monday morning. The downtime caused frustration amongst players and presumably no small amount of panic at PlayStation HQ.
The group responsible for the hack identified themselves as the “Lizard Squad” in a tweet, saying “PSN Login #Offline #LizardSquad.” (If there’s a silver lining in all this, it’s that I get to use “lizard squad” in a sentence). The group is thought to be the same one connected to similar attacks against the PlayStation and XBox networks back in August. The so-called “Lizard Squad” are not believed to have any connection to the hackers who infiltrated Sony Pictures’ systems last week, leaking several unreleased films and causing nearly a week of outages at Sony Pictures HQ. Those attacks were thought to have been sponsored by North Korea, though the North Korean government has winkingly denied involvement.
Regardless of who is responsible, the attacks are costing Sony in money and consumer confidence. That’s especially bad news in the middle of the holiday shopping season when shoppers are deciding which seventh generation console to add to their wish list. Sony has vowed to beef up security on all of its networks, a promise the corporation also made after last summer’s cyber attacks.