PlayStation Network ‘Downed By Hackers’ In Latest Sony Incident

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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A hacker group has claimed responsibility for PlayStation Network login problems, a week after similar issues struck Xbox Live

Sony has acknowledged its PlayStation Network (PSN) is experiencing “issues” that are preventing some gamers from using the service, while an anonymous group of hackers has taken credit for the incident.

“We are aware of the issues some users are experiencing, and are working to address them,” Sony Computer Entertainment said in a Twitter message at around midnight GMT.

sony pictures

A hacker group called Lizard Squad, about which little is known, took credit for the attack in a Twitter message, stating “PSN Login #offline #LizardSquad”.

The same group also claimed responsibility for problems with Xbox Live a week ago that made it difficult for users to open certain applications or sign into games. At the time Lizard Squad, which has previously taken other high-profile gaming services offline, promised to cause more disruption in the run-up to Christmas.

PSN was taken offline for several hours in August by a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, that also affected other online gaming networks, including Blizzard’s Battle.net, Grinding Gear Games and Microsoft’s Xbox Live.

PSN is Sony’s online multiplayer gaming and digital media service, and is used with the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Portable and PlayStation Vita consoles. PlayStation marked its 20th anniversary last week.

Hack attacks

The incident is the latest to affect Sony, whose Hollywood film studio was hacked last month, resulting in the leak of several upcoming film releases and the disclosure of personal data, including actors’ salaries and the social security numbers of 47,000 employees and freelancers.

The hack has also resulted in the leak of personal information concerning Princess Beatrice of York, who has been working for Sony Pictures since January, according to a Forbes report.

The daughter of Prince Andrew, and sixth in line to the British throne, earned $30,300, or about £19,500, in her first year as “intermediate coordinating producer”, and her address is listed as Windsor, Berkshire, according to leaked documents.

The hack was initially linked to North Korea, but the country has since formally denied responsibility.

“We do not know where in America the Sony Pictures is situated and for what wrongdoings it became the target of the attack, nor (do) we feel the need to know about it,” said a North Korean government statement carried in state media and reported by AP.

North Korea had criticised Sony Pictures for its upcoming film, “The Interview”, which imagines an assassination attempt upon the country’s leader. Salary details of the film’s stars were among those leaked as a result of the hack.

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