Computer hacker group Lizard Squad has claimed responsibility for taking down Sony’s PlayStation Store and PlayStation Network.
The outage, which has prevented users from making online purchases via the PlayStation web store, is the latest in a series of security incidents to have befallen Sony this year.
August saw the PlayStation Network taken down by a DDoS attack, while Sony is still feeling the impact of a cyber attack on its film division, which took place last month.
The latest attack sees those who visit the PlayStation Store greeted with a message that states “Page Not Found! It’s not you. It’s the internet’s fault.” Hacking group Lizard Squad has apparently claimed credit for the attack in a Tweet.
Sony has acknowledged that there’s an issue and is still investigating what exactly has taken the PlayStation Store offline.
The latest apparent security breach appears to give further credence to comments made by security expert Dr Kevin Curran, senior member of IEEE and a senior lecturer in computer science at the University of Ulster, who in the wake of a previous attack on Sony said that the firm “does not understand security”.
A Kaspersky Lab spokesperson told Computing that the Lizard Squad cyber attack on PlayStation probably isn’t connected to the other attacks against Sony, but the company may have been targeted because it’s suffered so many recent security issues.
“Details of the most recent attack from ‘Lizard Squad’ are still unclear, but at this stage it seems the recent string of Sony attacks are not connected,” they said.
“It is not uncommon for smaller groups to try and capitalise on a wave associated with a huge data breach or attack, and it is possible that this is what has happened in this case with Sony.”
Kaspersky Lab also warned that for a large company like Sony, ensuring total protection against outside cyber threats is a very difficult task.
“Many people have questioned how such a breach could happen, but for big companies like Sony, it can become a nightmare to keep infrastructure secure. The bigger and more complex a company gets, the harder it is to protect its entire infrastructure,” said the spokesperson.
“Security perimeters are very hard to defend nowadays anyway, and with thousands of employees spread all over the world, using different devices, running different operating systems and software packages accessing different internal or external systems through the network, security is a real and huge challenge,” they continued.
Kaspersky Lab even warned that it might be impossible to ensure full security across a company the size of Sony.
“The problem is, even though it’s hard to penetrate such networks from the outside, it is not impossible. There will always be vulnerabilities and no system is 100 per cent secure,” said the spokesperson.
“Once an attacker finds a vulnerability and manages to get inside, it is usually very easy for them to move around the system – essentially exploring the inside of the network and moving from one system to another, until the ultimate goal is reached,” they concluded.