The hackers took the gaming service offline on Christmas Eve, preventing new users from connecting and registering their new PlayStation consoles, as well as blocking existing users access to online games and on-demand video streaming services.
The PSN, which has 110 million users, was not restored until 28 December. Microsoft’s Xbox Live online gaming service was also targeted by the Lizard Squad’s attack but service was restored by Boxing Day.
“Since access to PlayStation Network was impacted during the holidays, we wanted to show our appreciation for your patience by offering all PlayStation Plus members that had an active membership or free trial on December 25th a membership extension of five days,” said Eric Lempel, vice president of Sony Network Entertainment in a blog post. “In addition, sometime this month we will announce that for a limited time, we will be offering a 10% discount code good for a one-time discount off a total cart purchase in the PlayStation Store as a thank you to all PSN members.”
The news was met with mixed reactions from commenters on the PlayStation blog.
“Have you no shame?? Disgraceful but it’s funny how the masses will praise this useless gesture, one can receive a bigger discount by searching the internet for coupon codes 10%, you are a joke Sony. You deserve what you got,” said a commenter known as Crniilabud.
Others were more positive, while Sony was urged to “raise your security” and prevent it happening again.
“This is exactly the right move. Essentially prorating our subscriptions for the lost time. Thank you!” said Thunder_Hokie.
While Ponyohearts said: “Appreciate the offer. Hacks happen … what can you do? Thanks for acknowledging it.”
A 22-year-old man from Twickenham, linked with the Lizard Squad, was arrested in a raid on his home by the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU) before being released on bail over cyber-fraud offences in 2013-14.
The Lizard Squad has been linked with a series of high-profile distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. These attacks prevent legitimate users of services such as the PSN from connecting to them by bombarding them with bogus connections, overloading the service and taking it offline often until the attack ceases.
The group recently launched a DDoS tool that could allow anyone to conduct similar attacks on targets of their choosing, costing between $6 (£3.85) and $500 per attack paid via the bitcoin cryptocurrency.
This article was written by Samuel Gibbs, for theguardian.com on Friday 2nd January 2015 11.06 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010