The anonymous group, which launched distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against both PlayStation Network and Xbox Live last Christmas, disrupting online game services for thousands of new PS4 and Xbox One owners, has been quiet for several weeks.
However, on Friday, Daybreak Games, previously known as Sony Online Entertainment, reported that its servers were being attacked, with its range of multiplayer online games – including zombie survival adventure H1Z1 – suffering connection issues. Later, Lizard Squad tweeted “H1Z1 #offline”.
Early Monday morning, Lizard Squad announced on Twitter that its latest target would be Xbox Live, later tweeting “Xbox (360) Live #offline”. Microsoft has yet to officially comment on disruption to its online gaming service. However, gamers quickly began to log problems with the service, including being unable to access their friend lists. At the time of writing, Microsoft’s support page was displaying a warning that Xbox Live access is limited.
Lizard Squad has a history of directing attacks at Microsoft and particularly Sony. The group first came to wider attention last August when it brought down the PlayStation Network with a DDoS attack. At that time, the group also claimed responsibility for contacting American Airlines and claiming that one of their domestic flights had a bomb onboard – one of the plane’s passengers was John Smedley, the president of Sony Online Entertainment. A series of subsequent tweets from the Lizard Squad account openly mocked Smedley, with one reading “Glad to see you following us. How’s your day?”
In February, Sony sold Sony Online Entertainment to Columbus Nova, and the studio, responsible for titles such as Everquest and Planeside 2, changed its name to Daybreak Games and became an independent company. Days later the company announced a number of staff layoffs. Smedley, now seemingly a personal target of Lizard Squad, remained in charge of the studio, and has been tweeting from his personal account about the server outages affecting the company – prompting Lizard Squad to tweet, “What’s up, long time no see :).@j_smedley”
In January, UK police arrested two men in connection with Lizard Squad’s Christmas day attacks on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live – an 18-year-old from Southport and a 22-year-old from Twickenham. Neither has so far been charged.
The latest tweet on the group’s account reads simply, “brb. More to come, it’s about time to re-ignite lizardsquad.”
This article was written by Keith Stuart, for theguardian.com on Monday 16th February 2015 13.30 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010