Posted: Aug 26 2014
by: Neal Haworth

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Sony's PlayStation Network Back Online After Massive Cyber Attack

If you tried to play a PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 4 game online over the weekend, you may have noticed an error when attempting to connect to the PlayStation Network. Sony's online gaming platform was brought down by a group of hackers on Sunday afternoon. Using a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, they were able to cripple one of the world's largest online gaming services for the nearly an entire day.

The group Lizard Squad took credit for the outage, tweeting "Sony, yet another large company, but they aren't spending the waves of cash they obtain on their customers' (PlayStation Network) service. End the greed." Future tweets suggested the attacks were spurred in the wake of recent U.S. airstrikes on Islamic extremists in Iraq.

Sony's Australian branch published the following statement in response to the attack:

"Like other major networks around the world, the PlayStation Network and Sony Entertainment Network have been impacted by an attempt to overwhelm our network with artificially high traffic. Although this has impacted your ability to access our network and enjoy our services, no personal information has been accessed. We will continue to work towards fixing this issue and hope to have our services up and running as soon as possible. We regret any inconvenience this may have caused."

Lizard Squad also threatened to attack Microsoft's Xbox Live. Several users reported problems when attempting to log into Microsoft's online service over the weekend, but these problems were quickly addressed with no long-term outages.

Additionally, the Lizard Squad tweeted a message about a bomb being on the plane of Sony Online Entertainment President John Smedley. Smedley's plane was diverted and grounded, where authorities checked it to confirm that there were no explosive devices on board.

Thankfully, the PlayStation Network is now back online. But now that the incident is over, many users are questioning whether or not Sony has the capabilities to prevent another attack. While this most recent attack crippled its online platform for a day, another attack could result in customers' data being stolen -- a probable scenario given Sony's history.

This isn't the first time Sony has experienced a security breach. In April, 2011, sensitive information from some 77 million customers was stolen. It took Sony nearly two months fully restore its service following this breach.

Were you affected by the outage? Let us know in the comments section below!

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