Incident Response, TDR, Threat Management

Sony PSN downed; hacking group claims DDOS attack

The hacking group Phantom Squad is claiming responsibility for a distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack that brought down Sony's PlayStation Network offline worldwide for most of the day Monday.

Phantom Squad took responsibility for shutting down PSN by launching a DDOS attack in a series of tweets. The group tweeted, “#psn #offline #off for some users. We are back for some action!” The same hacking group shut down the Xbox Live service last month and threatened to shut down the Microsoft gaming service and PSN over Christmas.

Sony has been tight-lipped about the cause for the outage. The company has not released a statement on Sony or the PlayStation Network's corporate websites. However, after the network regained service, Sony president Shuhei Yoshida took to Twitter to publish a link to the network's updated status page. “As people are tweeting, PSN is back online. Very sorry for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience,” Yoshida announced on Twitter.

The official PSN Twitter account has not made any statement about the outage since a status update Monday, when the network was still off.

In speaking with, CipherCloud CEO Pravin Kothari called PSN “an atypical target” in that there appears to be no overt financial or political motive behind the attack. Hackers previously acted alone in launching this type of attack, he said, but noted that attacks have grown more organized.

“If I was Sony, EA, or Microsoft, I would look at if there was a bigger threat,” Kothari said. “This could be part of a bigger plan, or part of a bigger strategy.”

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