December 8th 2014
The online Sony PlayStation store has been hit by hackers and was out of action earlier this morning. Gamers were greeted with a message which reads "Page Not Found! It's not you. It's the internet's fault".
The attack follows closely on the heels of last month's attack on Sony's film studios' corporate network – Sony Pictures Entertainment – after which unreleased movies and confidential unencrypted information on thousands of employees and actors was leaked online
Responsibility has been claimed by 'Lizard Squad', a well-known hacker group who have allegedly been behind an number of other high-profile hacks in the past including a day-long outage of Microsoft's Xbox network just last week. This was a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack which crippled the system by overloading it with hits, presumably from a botnet (network of devices which have been taken over by malware to visit a site simultaneously, hence overloading it). EA Games and Destiny offline have also been hit in the past.
The hackers, who are known as Lizard Patrol on Twitter, posted "PSN Login #offline #LizardSquad" as their status.
Worryingly, Lizard Squad said of its Xbox attack that it was just a "small dose" of its planned activity over the festive season. The collective's website is based in Russia.