Sony Hands Out Free Game Codes To Compensate For 2011 Hack

A few years ago Sony had a rather bad hack, which affected around 70 million of their customers. In the wake of the hack, Sony offered to renew its efforts to increase security alongside some gifts to appease players who suffered during the 23-day outage. As of March 2nd, you may find that the promised free game codes have finally arrived.

Depending on the services you were signed up to when the hack happened (PlayStation Network, Qriocity and Sony Online Entertainment), you can claim a variety of rewards. As part of Sony’s initial scheme people were offered to grab a game, but don’t worry if you didn’t manage to grab one all the time back then, you can grab two now.

The games available vary based on which of the available platforms you wish to collect your reward for, with the Playstation 3, Vita and PSP all being offered free rewards as a sorry. If you want to grab a game you can now get inFamous, LittleBigPlanet and even the God Of War HD Collection for free but they will be limited to the aforementioned consoles.

With the lawsuit spawning this reward scheme valued at $2.75 million, Sony must be happy that they can get away with a few free games or even a little account credit or PSN time almost five years since the hack began the security awareness that so many companies are still suffering from.

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.

PS4 Online Multiplayer Free This Weekend

PlayStation Network online play is being made available to all PlayStation 4 users this weekend, Sony has announced. The free period begins on Friday. 20th March at 12:01 a.m. PT (7:01 p.m. GMT) and will last for 72 hours. PlayStation Plus membership, needed for online multiplayer, usually costs $49.99 (or £39.99 in the UK), but is not required during the free weekend.

The promotion coincides with this week’s release of the much-anticipated Visceral Games first-person shooter Battlefield Hardline, which will no doubt become a popular choice for online multiplayer gamers.

Source: Polygon

PlayStation Network Down Again

According to the official PlayStation Twitter account, PlayStation Network has suffered another outage. There is no news as to why, or whether it is down to another malicious attack, à la the Christmas DDoS attack on PSN by Lizard Squad.

As of this morning, PlayStation were reported to be slowly restoring the online gaming service:

Source: TweakTown

Lizard Squad’s DDoS Service Hacked

How deliciously apt: Lizard Squad’s for-hire DDoS service, Lizard Stresser, has been hacked by unknown persons.

Lizard Squad are the hacker group responsible for the attacks on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network that brought the services down over Christmas last year. The group later claimed that these DDoS attacks were meant as a form of advertisement for its Lizard Stresser service.

News of the Lizard Stresser hack was broken by Brian Krebs of online security site Krebs on Security, revealing that the culprit had sent him a copy of Lizard Stesser’s customer database, including their passwords, obtained directly from the site, stored as a plain text file.

The document reveals that although 14,241 people have registered with the site, only a couple of hundred people have paid for the service, raising over $11,000-worth of Bitcoins in sales.

Source: Krebs on Security

Lizard Squad Hacked Home Routers to DDoS Attack Xbox Live and PSN

Brian Krebs, an online security blogger, has found how hacker group Lizard Squad managed to amass the trafficking power to take down Xbox Live and PlayStation Network over Christmas, and the answer lies very close to home.

Krebs’ investigation – outlined on his blog, KrebsOnSecurity – led him to discover that Lizard Squad had used a recently discovered malware variant to take control of thousands of home routers. Together, the routers formed a botnet that was used to direct a high volume of junk internet traffic toward Xbox Live and PSN, putting them under so much stress that they collapsed, unable to cope.

Though Krebs asserts that the majority of Lizard Squad’s botnet hosts home routers, he claims that a significant number of commercial routers, used by companies, schools, and universities, had been compromised.

Source: The Verge

Sony Apologises for PSN Outage With Five Days of PlayStation Plus

Sony, in an effort to make amends with customers over the Christmas hack of the PlayStation Network by hacker group Lizard Squad, are offering PlayStation Plus members five free days of membership. Any user with an active PS Plus membership or free trial on 25th December is eligible. In addition, Sony will make a 10% discount code available to all PlayStation Store users some time later this month.

Eric Lempel, head of Sony Entertainment Network, said on the PlayStation blog, “We wanted to show our appreciation for your patience.”

The five free days of PlayStation Plus are automatically applied, so there is no need for users to opt in.

Source: Eurogamer

Lizard Squad Member Arrested for Fraud

A yet to be officially named member of Lizard Squad has been arrested over claims of online fraud. The individual is believed to be 22-year-old Vinnie Omari, and is in connection to money stolen from PayPal accounts.

“The arrest is in connection with an ongoing investigation into cyber-fraud offences which took place between 2013 and August 2014 during which victims reported funds being stolen from their PayPal accounts,” Thames Valley police said in a statement on behalf of SEROCU.”

Brian Krebs of KrebsOnSecurity says that this is Vinnie, with him posting an image of his supposed bail notice.

Lizard Squad has claimed responsibility for a string of attacks upon Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network, culminating in a massive outage over Christmas Day. The group has sparked outrage online for its supposed DDoS attacks. Last week it was reported that the FBI is investigating.

Source: KrebsOnSecurity, The Guardian

The FBI Confirms it is Investigating Lizard Squad After Hacking PSN, Xbox Live

Well, Lizard Squad is in some deep… well… you know what I was going to say. The FBI has confirmed that it is now investigating the hacking group, after they took both Sony’s PlayStation Network and Microsoft’s Xbox Live services down over the holidays. An FBI spokesperson told GamesBeat “The FBI is investigating the matter. Given the pending nature of the case, we cannot comment further.”

Most would consider the FBI investigating them quite, well, serious, right? Not Lizard Squad, who took to Twitter with this tweet:

Source: VentureBeat.

Lizard Squad Start Selling DDoS Attack Services

It seems that the Christmas DDoS attacks on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network by hacker group Lizard Squad could have been an elaborate marketing campaign. On Tuesday morning, Lizard Squad announced on Twitter that it will begin selling custom DDoS attack services, under the name Lizard Stresser.

Want a website attacked? Pay anywhere between $6 and $500, depending on the size of the site, via Bitcoin and Lizard Squad will oblige. $130 a month will get you 30,000 seconds (about 20 days) of sustained attack, while $500 earns an unlimited attack.

Lizard Squad member dragon told The Daily Dot that the Xbox and PSN attacks were “a huge marketing scheme. Playing games on a Twitter is fun, but it comes down to the money. The objective here, for me at least—can’t speak for others—is money.”

Three hours after launch, 25 people had already paid for the DDoS service. According to dragon, Lizard Squad hopes to keep the service running for a “minimum of one year.”

Source: The Daily Dot

Can’t Connect to PSN? Try this Little Trick

Sony has assured its customers that the PlayStation Network is back online, following the recent DDoS attack by Lizard Squad, but some users are still struggling to connect. Luckily, a new fix has emerged for those who can’t get online.

Enter your PlayStation’s Internet Settings, select Manual Settings, and then change the MTU to either 1473 or 1476. Hopefully, the problem will now be fixed.

A redditor called disambiguated explains why MTU is a factor:

“The GRE tunnel overhead is 24 bytes – hence, changing your MTU from 1500 to 1476 ensures that large packets make it through to the servers.”

If that doesn’t work, another thing to try is to change the console’s DNS to 8.8.8.8, Google’s public DNS.

Source: PS4 Daily

PlayStation Network Was Down For Close to 72 Hours… It’s OK Now, Though

Sony has issued an update over its is-it-up-or-down PlayStation Network gaming service, which is now “back online” according to the PlayStation blog. The blog states “PlayStation Network and some other gaming services were attacked over the holidays with artificially high levels of traffic designed to disrupt connectivity and online gameplay. This may have prevented your access to the network and its services over the last few days.”

It’s funny though, because Sony states that “The video game industry has been experiencing high levels of traffic designed to disrupt connectivity and online gameplay. Multiple networks, including PSN, have been affected over the last 48 hours. PSN engineers are working hard to restore full network access and online gameplay as quickly as possible.”

Well Sony… my PC has been fine, sheesh even uPlay is fine… and that’s an Ubisoft product. The Steam Holiday Sales have been thrashing gamers wallets across the world, as well as Valve’s servers without a single hiccup. So when you say “the video game industry has been experiencing high levels of traffic” you mean your services were hacked and played with, as well as Microsoft’s. Don’t put us in your potato basket, please.

Source: PlayStation Blog.

Tor Reassures Users After Hack Attempt

 

The Tor Project, victims of an attempted hack by a group known as Lizard Squad, has reassured users that the threat is being dealt with and that users’ anonymity remains intact.

It seems that Lizard Squad launched what is known as a Cybil attack, creating new relays in the hope of saturating the network, as opposed to taking control of existing relays. But, despite reports, the hackers only controlled 1% of the total number of relays within the Tor network. Tor confirmed this in a statement to Business Insider:

“This looks like a regular attempt at a Sybil attack: the attackers have signed up many new relays in hopes of becoming a large fraction of the network. But even though they are running thousands of new relays, their relays currently make up less than 1% of the Tor network by capacity. We are working now to remove these relays from the network before they become a threat, and we don’t expect any anonymity or performance effects based on what we’ve seen so far.”

Lizard Squad claimed responsibility for the Christmas attack on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network, explaining that it brought the two online gaming servers down to demonstrate that users were being short changed by a weak, lacklustre network. Its reasoning for attacking Tor is still a mystery but, whatever its motives were, the move has turned the collective head of Anonymous:

On Friday, Anonymous declared war on Lizard Squad, warning the malicious group in a YouTube video, “now you are all going down.”

Source: Business Insider

Lizard Squad Attacks Tor

Lizard Squad, the hacker group responsible for the Christmas Day attacks on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network, has turned its sights upon anonymous internet server, Tor (The Onion Network).

https://twitter.com/LizardMafia/status/548525026027507712

Lizard Squad’s latest attack seems to be designed to compromise users’ anonymity by commandeering Tor’s relay nodes. If the hackers take control of enough nodes, it will be able to eavesdrop on, track, and identify Tor users. So far, Lizard Squad has control of 3,000 relays, close to half of all nodes.

As of Friday evening, the attack continues. Tor has yet to comment on the situation.

https://twitter.com/LizardMafia/status/548523618901454848

Source: Gizmodo

Kim Dotcom Saves XMAS, Stops Lizard Squad Attack on Xbox Live and PSN

Hacker group Lizard Squad launched a DDoS attack on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network (PSN), taking both services down on Christmas Day. The official Lizard Squad Twitter account demanded 10,000 retweets before it would allow the services to continue. However, German web entrepreneur Kim Dotcom stepped in, offering Lizard Squad 3,000 Lifetime accounts on his encrypted upload site, Mega.

https://twitter.com/LizardMafia/status/548334845588680705

Dotcom shared a screen capture of a direct message exchange between the two parties:

The conversation seems a little contrived, possibly staged, but the net result is that both Xbox Live and PSN services were able to continue. Though, now that Kim Dotcom has breached the “don’t negotiate with terrorists” rule, will this persuade Lizard Squad to launch more attacks in hope of soliciting further benefits?

Source: Gizmodo

Lizard Squad Takes Down PlayStation Network! Again?

What is with these hacking teams taking down gaming servers? Not only are they threatening to take down the entirety of Xbox Live forever, but they’re still beating the hell out of the PlayStation servers. It’s worth noting that this has nothing to do with the Sony Pictures hack; Sony are fighting more than one battle right now.

If your game connection has been down, it may just be a general technical glitch at Sony HQ. However, Lizard Squad is staking their claim on the issues, and given their past efforts I’m inclined to believe they’re responsible.

https://twitter.com/LizardPatrol/status/541751366297743360

Image courtesy of The Simpsons.

Metal Gear Solid 4 Will be on the PlayStation Network on December 17

For the first time ever, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots will be made available as a digital download. Sony will be offering it through their PlayStation Network, for the PS3, on December 17, 2014 according to Konami.

MGS 4 will cost £19.99 / €19.99 and come in at a 30GB download. Konami is obviously preparing for the big launch of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain next year, by offering a digital version of Metal Gear Solid 4 before its launch sometime in 2015.

Source: Eurogamer.

Xbox Live Hit by DDoS Attack

On Monday, Xbox Live Gaming Servers were taken offline by a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, with a hacker group known as Lizard Squad taking responsibility.

https://twitter.com/LizardPatrol/status/539592073452998659

The attack took place on Monday at 8.37pm EST, and was followed shortly by a tweet from Lizard Squad, taking credit for the incident.

https://twitter.com/LizardPatrol/status/539594137117667328

Xbox Live users in turn tweeted Microsoft about the outage, complaining about not being able to access their account. Microsoft did not respond.

Lizard Squad has previously taken responsibility for DDoS attacks on the Sony PlayStation Network, the game Destiny, and “several EA games” (as yet unnamed). They seem to be pondering the target of their next attack.

https://twitter.com/LizardPatrol/status/539630738933817344

Source: Tech Worm

WRC Powerslide Now Available On Stream

The developers at Milestone are well known in the world of video game racing, having created many iconic titles since they started out in 1996. Now they look to continue that trend with the release of yet another racing title which has just hit consoles and Windows PC. The game, WRC Powerslide, is now available on Steam at a special discount price for the first week. The game is due to be priced at € 9,99 but if you get in early you’ll be able to pick it up for just €8,49 (15% off).

With a colourful and smart style, WRC Powerslide offers the chance to try all the WRC licensed elements with an arcade attitude. Through two different game modes – Single Player and Multiplayer – the players can pick up a car from WRC Class, Class 2 and Class 3, choose between 8 different rallies – with 3 special stage per each – and compete against other friends/opponents. Furthermore, during the competition, all the drivers will find 6 different Power Ups (Extreme Pace, Flatout, Horn Power, Hailstorm, Thunderbolt, Cloud of Dust) on the road which contain bonus/malus to speed up the vehicles or to slow down the other ones. At least, thanks to the introduction of the brand new on top camera – that will show a great portion of the track – players can enjoy exciting WRC 2012 calendar’s panoramas.

It’s a nice change of pace from the often simulation focused WRC racing games, and being able to bring the camera up above the track and take an almost top down view reminds me of great arcade racing games such as Micro Machines. Just kick back and watch the powerslides flow.

Developed by Milestone studio, WRC Powerslide is now available for PlayStation Network, Xbox LIVE and Steam for €9,99.

Thank you WRC Powerslide for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of WRC Powerslides Facebook.