Phantom Squad Threatens Week-Long Xbox Live and PSN Attack over Christmas

Following its attack on Xbox Live earlier this week, hacker group Phantom Squad has threatened to take down both Xbox Live and PlayStation Network for a week over Christmas, calling its first successful attempt a demonstration, The Independent reports. The Twitter account that Phantom Squad used to make these threats has now been suspended, but the group has returned with a new account, @PhantomLair.

“Why do we take down PSN and Xbox Live? Because cyber security does not exist,” the old Phantom Squad account tweeted, followed by, “Some men just want to watch PSN and Xbox Live burn.”

Phantom Squad is claiming that it temporarily took down PSN earlier today, but this has not yet been confirmed:

https://twitter.com/PhantomLair/status/677705163067555840

The hackers are also threatening to DDoS reddit, asking follower to vote for their preferred target:

https://twitter.com/PhantomLair/status/677716229147271168

The threatened attacks mirror those committed by Lizard Squad last Christmas, whose attacks on Xbox Live and PSN were used to advertise their new Lizard Stresser DDoS tool, which offered bespoke attacks on websites for a fee.

“The only reason we are doing this its @Xbox & @PlayStation Fault [sic],” Phantom Squad tweeted earlier today. “Because we are proving there is no cyber security PSN Fix it b4 it happens.”

Xbox Live Hit by Phantom Squad DDoS Attack

Only a few days ago, the “hacking group” known as Phantom Squad threatened to shut down Xbox Live and PlayStation Network during the Christmas period. Before I move onto today’s development, please note that the press shouldn’t really be referring to groups like Lizard Squad and Phantom Squad as hacking groups. I’ve fallen into that trap myself without thinking about it, and it’s not actually an accurate term. Using a DDoS to disrupt networking services is not hacking, and we shouldn’t give these groups a title which overemphasize their abilities. Putting that aside, it seems Phantom Squad have lived up to their promise and conducted a DDoS attack on Xbox Live. Here we can see them taking responsibility for the service outage and also tweeted about the lack of security on these networks:

This might indicate they have a motive to expose Xbox Live and PlayStation Network’s security loopholes. However, this isn’t the way to go about it, and only impacts on the enjoyment factor for new console owners during Christmas. Rather surprisingly, Twitter has suspended the groups account but luckily Ars Technica UK captured some of their Tweets. In lieu of recent events, Microsoft issued a status update on its support site which reads:

“Hey Xbox members, are you having trouble purchasing or managing your subscriptions for Xbox Live? Are you also having an issue with signing into Xbox Live? We are aware of these issues and are working to get it fixed ASAP! Thank you for being patient while we work. We’ll post another update when more information becomes available.”

Phantom Squad’s egotistical and attention seeking traits reached fever pitch as they asked for retweets to prevent PSN from being the next target:

Any hope of Phantom Squad caring about security of having some sort of moral purpose is discredited by this tweet. Clearly, they just want to cause havoc and feel better about themselves by spoiling other people’s Christmas. As a result, they need to reassess their behaviour and comprehend how they would feel if their Christmas was spoilt by an unknown group on the internet.

Hacking Group Threatens to Attack Gaming Networks During Christmas

The hacking group, Lizard Squad targeted the poor security on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network last year and caused major disruption during the holiday period. This meant many new console owners couldn’t play games online with their friends and spoilt the festive cheer for three long days. In the past year, the National Crime Agency has made arrests and targeted Lizard Squad’s cyber criminal activities. However, being anti-establishment can inspire other disaffected people to create a similar organization. Sadly, this is the case, and a new group entitled, Phantom Squad is threatening to shut down Xbox Live and PlayStation Network during Christmas:

https://twitter.com/OfficialSegma/status/675784451977289729

Not only that, the group plans to switch the servers offline for a week and ruin people’s excitement to play games during their time off. This really is pathetic, and illustrates how petty human beings can be. I’m not entirely convinced if the group can perform this hack as it might just be trolls engaging in attention seeking. Although, if any kind of mass outage occurred, both Microsoft and Sony have to answer questions about their investment in online security. Hopefully, this isn’t a sign of things to come and only shows how bitter some people are in the modern world. If you’re frustrated with society, trying to ruin other people’s lives to make your own self-image improve is a flawed line of thinking.