Xbox Live & PSN Xmas Outages

This Christmas morning as many kids (and adults alike) fired up their shiny new Xbox or Playstation gaming console they were met with frustration as the online component of these systems was unavailable.  Both Microsoft and Sony posted issues to their respective online service status pages and whilst both services seemed to restore some service during xmas day they were both struggling again on the evening.

Who, what & why?

A hacker group known as Lizard Squad has taken responsibility for the attacks over on Twitter. This is the same group that has previously taken down Blizzard and issued a bomb threat that saw a plane that the Sony president was on. And the reason for all of this? Good old fashioned fun. Seems crazy right?

The Daily Dot has published an interview with the head of the hacker group where they flower this up a little and claim it is intended to demonstrate the “incompetence” of Microsoft and Sony.

Ultimately, the hackers have staged a sophisticated Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on these networks and overloaded them with requests meaning that these networks are unavailable for paying customers (essentially kids, on Christmas day).

The state of play

It would seem that Microsoft with arguably the more advanced and mature network is now operating again but Sony is still having problems. How much longer this will continue is anyones guess and I would imagine that many of the top network and system admins are currently on leave for the holidays so that may be slowing matters further.

What this really tells us is that even the biggest and best computer networks and systems out there can be compromised and taken down if the attack is planned and executed as it would appear this was.

What does this have to do with WordPress?

The hackers use a number of computers in this distributed network. These are often hacked websites, servers or computers that are infected with a form of worm or virus. WordPress itself has been the target for a large attack from a distributed network like this previously but your site could also be part of the problem if it is not protected.

As ever, ensure you have no weak passwords, ensure WordPress and any plugins are up to date. Only install 100% legit plugins and consider a security plugin to improve the default security measures. Alternatively, get in touch to see how wArmour can provide a complete security measure for your site.

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