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.

Jeremy Clarkson Suspended From Top Gear

Clarkson, front man of the Top Gear host line-up, has been suspended with immediate effect pending an investigation after an incident involving one of the shows producers. No one is sure of the reason this time, but last year, he stated he was on a “last warning” following a racist remark during filming of the Burma Special. At the time, he said the BBC had told him he would be sacked if he made “one more offensive remark, anywhere, at any time”.

The BBC gave no further details on the current incident involving Clarkson, and said it would not be making any further statements at this time. Clarkson’s representatives have yet to reply to requests for a comment. The presenter himself has remained silent. Last month, though, he tweeted a post saying a “new presenter for Top Gear” was wanted. “Applicant should be old, badly dressed and pedantic but capable of getting to work on time,” his message went on.

Now this isn’t the first time he has been dragged through the coals for doing something stupid. During the most recent special in the Falklands, he purchased a Porsche with the number plate “H982 FLK”. Some of the locals saw offence in this and protested and rioted towards the hosts and crew. It was released that this was completely coincidental, a little too coincidental if you ask me. Some of the damage can be seen here.

There’s no top gear this Sunday and there’s no indication of when the show will return. We will update this story as it happens.

An update on this story; if you have an opinion on this situation and would like to lend a hand to the reinstatement of Clarkson, please follow this link for an e-petition.

Thanks to BBC for this information