The Christmas holidays were not the best times for several console gamers as Sony PlayStation Network and Microsoft Xbox Live suffered several hours of downtime and outage. It later came to light that the cause behind this was a deliberate DDoS attack on the networks by a group that call themselves ‘Lizard Squad’.
It has now been reported that the UK police has arrested alleged Lizard Squad member, Vinnie Omari, 22, in connection with these hacks. While he has been released on bail, the law enforcement agencies have confiscated his computing devices and storage items in order to collect evidence. It is not yet confirmed whether Omari is part of the group or not, nor has there been any confirmation from the hacker group either. However, the group has confirmed that a man caught by the Finnish police a few days earlier is indeed a Lizard, as they call it. So does this mean that the Lizard Squad is slowly getting busted by law enforcement agencies? That remains to be seen.
What is a DDoS attack?
In the simplest terms, a DDoS attack is the overloading of a server by hundreds of thousands, or millions, of web requests aimed at it. These requests emanate from malware infected computers from across the world, or Zombies, that are commanded to send these requests in unison. Since these bogus requests originate from all corners of the Internet, it is next to impossible to actually track down the Command & Control (C&C) center or the origins of the attack. Moreover, the attack causes a server, or a website, to literally stop functioning as it cannot handle the load of all the requests coming in. Hence, ‘denial of service’ occurs as customers are unable to access the service and providers cannot offer their service.
DDoS is typically pronounced as dee-doss. (A regular DoS attack is pronounced as doss.)
Who is the Lizard Squad?
Who the members are and what their purpose is remains relatively unknown. But a list of recent targets of Lizard Squad definitely shows they are inclined towards attacking gaming websites and providers. Some of these recent targets were EA Games, Destiny and streaming site Machinima, Inc. among others. In fact, their Twitter handle pretty honestly predicted that they were going to target Xbox Live through tweets that were posted a few weeks ago. Apart from this, not much is known about the Lizard Squad, except for the fact they don’t like security analyst Brian Krebs too much.
For the record, Sony PSN and Xbox Live are now functional and up and running as usual. Stay tuned for more updates.