PhantomSquad DDoS group claims credit for PlayStation Network downtime

David Bisson

PhantomSquad DDoS group claims credit for PlayStation Network downtime

Psn down
A group of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attackers known as “PhantomSquad” has claimed responsibility for a PlayStation Network (PSN) service interruption that lasted for 10 hours on Monday.

At approximately 13:00 EST on Monday, PlayStation’s support personnel on Twitter began responding to user complaints that PSN was down.

Customers cited a host of problems in their complaints, explains the International Business Times, including issues when purchasing a digital game; the inability to purchase, download, browse, or redeem vouchers in the PlayStation Store; and the unavailability of PlayStation Music, PlayStation Now, and PlayStation Video content.

PSN down

By 22:30 EST, all services on the PSN status page were shown to be up and running.

Shuhei Yoshida, the President of Sony Computer Entertainment, announced the restoration and thanked users for their patience on Twitter at around the same time.

While it has stated that it will offer extensions on PlayStation Plus, PlayStation Now and video rentals, the Sony-owned company has yet to release an official statement on why PSN went down for approximately 10 hours.

In the meantime, PhantomSquad has decided to fill the silence by claiming that it used a DDoS attack to cripple PSN’s servers.

“#psn #offline #off for some users. We are back for some action!” a message from the now-suspended @PhantomSquad Twitter account read.

If its claims are true, the group would partially fulfill a promise it made last month to bring down Xbox Live and PSN over the holidays. For now, we can only wonder if PhantomSquad was indeed behind the outage.

PS4 and PS3 owners were hit with this PSN error message during Monday's outage.  Source: Daily Express

News of this possible attack follows on the heels of another group of computer criminals called “New World Hackers” who allegedly used their BangStresser tool to DDoS all of the BBC’s websites as well as Donald Trump’s official campaign site over the holiday weekend.

In the shadow of the Lizard Squad attack that brought down Xbox Live and PSN on Christmas Day in 2014, it is clear that the holidays are more and more becoming a venue for amateur attackers to DDoS targets in an attempt to gain notoriety for themselves. With that trend in mind, gaming platforms in particular should probably anticipate these types of holiday attack campaigns in the coming years.

David Bisson David Bisson is an infosec news junkie and security journalist. He works as Contributing Editor for Graham Cluley Security News and Associate Editor for Tripwire's "The State of Security" blog.

12 Replies to “PhantomSquad DDoS group claims credit for PlayStation Network downtime”

  1. Whats more concerning. is the fact this company knows about its weaknesses in its security network,
    and still it chooses to ignore them, I don't feel sorry for PSN one bit,

    Its bad enough Lizard Squad did this, and now a 2nd group is attacking?

    Get it together PSN

  2. Posting their names on social media is all these low self-esteemed kids want.

    Just ignore them. Show them zero attention. They were not hugged enough by mommy and daddy growing up, so they are just looking for attention.

    1. They are after attention but you'd be surprised how often it is NOT what you claim. That's basically putting the blame on the parents and there are a lot of variables involved, just like mental health problems.

      Your suggestion (esp. with no proof whatsoever) is unfair and harmful.

  3. Bunch of friggin nerds who cant't get laid and probably still live in their parents basements. Get a lif

    1. Nicely put.

      What's gratification do they get them by doing this? What's their agenda?

      Why don't they join Anonymous and do DDoS' on ISIS or the alike… Put their resources/talent towards the evil as a posed to the innocent just wanting to play a game…

      Just y 2c worth

      1. To that I have this to say, Simon (isn't there a game 'Simon Says' ?):

        Knowingly participating in DDoS attacks is not at all something that should be encouraged and it says nothing good about them, either, no matter what their justification is (..and trying to justify something like this only furthers guilt).

        The west is amazingly skilled at creating their own enemies. Such things (on a more general level) won't do much good but they do of course vindicate the claims made by militants et. al. (and encourage them further – whether physical, cyber, whatever[1]). Also, DDoS attacks amounts to censorship and it says nothing positive about anyone doing it (and incidentally, it takes no skill whatsoever so to even suggest 'talent' is wrong). Lastly, it does affect other people and anyone who thinks otherwise is ignorant.

        [1] This is exactly why it is hypocritical of governments now participating in cyber warfare; taint the word 'hacker' and then do exactly as they bemoaned about for so many years (and STILL do). Frankly, as long as the governments do that they have no business arresting people for the same thing any more than they have any business (that is, 'right') in whining about e.g. China doing things (they've executed computer criminals, btw). You reap what you sow etc.

    1. I suppose I'm giving a child publicity when I respond to you, then.

      No, this isn't giving them publicity (they do that for themselves which is quite obvious to most everyone with the exception perhaps of people like you); you just have poor reading comprehension and therefore are unable to grasp what this post is about. It's really a simple concept too which says a lot about your capabilities.

  4. Well, they are naughty boys for sure and it is an annoyance but its an opportunity to clean up or do other things for a while. Oh and sky fairies don't exist.

  5. Start putting some of these guys in prison and I bet this will stop. They are not just killing the fun of those that enjoy playing online but costing the companies a ton of money…

    1. Keep telling yourself that. Prison won't deter them. I promise you this. This is from being around long enough as well as being very observant as well as having the time (and inclination) to observe this exactly.

      In the 1990s Kevin Mitnick was made an example of …wasn't allowed evidence to support his case, wasn't allowed many things … the fact it wasn't his first arrest says a lot against your claim, doesn't it? I have no sympathy for him in the time he was in prison but only because he is a liar, admits it willingly (hence his 'art of bullshit' or whatever it was training) and repeatedly did these things; I don't think what the US government did as far as his trial is acceptable but he was asking for it. No matter what laws there are, DoS (and nowadays mostly just DDoS) attacks are going nowhere.

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