Sony’s PSN Network Haymaker’d by DDoS Attack; Exec’s Plane Grounded Over Bomb Threat


Sony had a rough weekend. And not just Sony; last weekend wasn’t the best time to be a gamer. Here’s the skinny…

Early yesterday morning, Sony’s PlayStation Network (PSN for short) was hit with a massive Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, causing it to crash temporarily and hamper online play for many PlayStation gamers.

Sony PSN Attack (Source: Google Images)

Sony Online Entertainment President John Smedley quickly took to Twitter to let users know about the attack before tweeting that he’d be offline for three hours as he flew back to San Diego from Dallas on AA Flight #362. Well, not long after the plane took off, someone tweeted to American Airlines that “it was receiving reports that [Sony Online Entertainment CEO John Smedley]‘s plane #362 from DFW to SAN has explosives on-board, please look into this.” That, plus a handful of references to the 9/11 attacks.

The plane was quickly diverted to Phoenix, where it would be checked for explosives (thankfully, there were none to be found as far as anyone knows).

Smedley Flight Diverted (Source: ARS Technica)

Was the DDoS attack connected to the bomb scare? At first, it sounded like it. The tie? ‘Lizard Squad’.

Who? Let’s start at the beginning, Aka, last Saturday.

According to an ARS Technica report:

“It all started Saturday, when a group going by the handle “Lizard Squad” tweeted links to a number of prominent Twitch streamers, directing followers to target DDoS attacks at servers for Blizzard and League of Legends maker Riot Games. The group’s sophomoric MO: demand that the streamers write “LIZARD SQUAD” on their forehead in marker to get their games back online.”

But what’s the tie to Sony’s PSN going down? @LizardSquad started taking aim at Sony early Sunday morning, coinciding with the outage, and posting the following:


LizardSquad Tweet 1 LizardSquad Tweet 2 LizardSquad Tweet 3

But now, Lizard Squad’s responsibility for the initial PSN attacks is in question. According to numerous reports, a hacker going by the handle @FamedGod is taking credit for the attack. He’s tweeted ‘proof’ (see below) and posted a on YouTube (link below).

Proof of PSN Attack

PSN Vulnerability (YouTube Video)

While the origin of the attack remains a mystery (we’ll be keeping eye on the story as new details emerge), it’s now clear that Sony wasn’t the only target of the DDoS attacks. AsĀ  mentioned in the aforementioned ARS Technica piece, Blizzard (more specifically its game services) and Riot Games servers were affected. Xbox Live and Grinding Gear’s ‘Path of Exile’ were also reportedly hit.

Now what?

As far as the DDoS attacks are concerned, Blizzard tweeted 19 hours ago, saying that “services appear to be stabilizing”… while PSN and Xbox Live seem to be back to their normal, pre-DDoS states.

What about the bomb scare? According to USA Today, an American Airlines spokesperson says the FBI is investigating the issue.


About the Author

Name: Yegor Piatnitski

Content Coordinator

With a background in Journalism, Yegor is as passionate about writing as he is about the latest and greatest in technology. He manages Webroot’s Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, and LinkedIn pages, while also writing blog posts and Webroot Community articles on the side. Outside of work, Yegor loves to play sports, work out, travel, watch movies, and spend time with his girlfriend, family, and friends.

E Ellappa
E Ellappa

So if I understand this correctly, a group of people decided to crash Sony's PSN because they don't want to pay for online? "Sony, yet another large company, but they aren't spending the waves of cash they obtain on their customers' PSN service." I really hope "Lizard Squad" consists of high school students because that is a pathetic response for adults to have over having to pay for PSN.