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Sony's PS 4 is back on top, but Microsoft's Xbox One also enjoyed healthy sales in November. Sarah Tew/CNET Sony's PlayStation 4 is once again the hottest-selling gaming console in the United States. The Japanese consumer electronics maker said the ...
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.
Sony remains in the firing line of hackers who have now brought down its PlayStation Network and PlayStation Store. But hacker group Lizard Squad has claimed responsibility, and not GOP – or "Guardians of Peace" – who said they downed Sony Pictures Entertainment’s network on 24 November 2014. Sony’s PlayStation Network (PSN) became unreachable to PS4 and PS3 users just after midnight on Sunday 7 December 2014 UK time, reports the Express. The Lizard Squad tweeted the message: "PSN Login #offline #LizardSquad." Sony’s PSN was among several gaming networks downed by distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks in August 2014. The attacks were linked to the jihadist group Islamic State, but a hacker linked to the Anonymous hacktivist collective later said PSN had been targeted to highlight vulnerabilities in Sony's system. DDoS attacks are commonly used by competitors or activists to take services offline using a variety of techniques that make services impossible to reach. Multiple attacks Although some PSN users speculated that another DDoS attack was underway, this has not yet been confirmed by Sony. Sony’s PlayStation Network was offline for more than three weeks in 2011 after a hack that compromised the personal information of millions of customers. The outage on the PlayStation network comes a week after Lizard Squad claimed responsibility for a similar day-long outage on Microsoft Xbox network. The Xbox network was hit with a DDoS attack that overloaded the system, stopping users from getting online, reported the BBC. Lizard Squad said the Xbox attack was just "a small dose" of what was to come over the Christmas season. Sony Entertainment in Tokyo said the latest outage of PlayStation Network lasted two hours, but had been fixed globally. However, at the time of writing, the PlayStation Store still appeared to be offline. Sony Entertainment said the latest outage is under investigation, but there is no sign of any material being stolen, reports Phys Org. In the attack on Sony Pictures two weeks ago, hackers are believed to have accessed a wide variety of data, including a list of employee salaries and bonuses; social security numbers and dates of birth; employee performance reviews; criminal background checks and termination records; correspondence about employee medical conditions; passport and visa information for film actors and crew; internal emails; and unreleased films. Email Alerts Register now to receive ComputerWeekly.com IT-related news, guides and more, delivered to your inbox. By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy Read More Related content from ComputerWeekly.com RELATED CONTENT FROM THE TECHTARGET NETWORK