PlayStation is attempting to mend the broken hearts of those who opened up Christmas gifts on December 25th only to learn that they would be virtually inoperable due to the Denial of Service attack (DDoS). The attack took place on Christmas day, and while the group that claimed responsibility said that the attacks stopped late in the evening on Christmas day, but the service remained out for days – and even then only regained full-service days ago. The continued spotty service long-after the initial set of attacks proved that the company was ill-prepared to handle those attacks, and showed significant failures in the security of both the PlayStation Network, as well as Microsoft’s Xbox Live network, which was also impacted by the attacks that day.
Sony Network Entertainment Vice President Eric Lempel said in a blog post that anyone who might have had a free trial of PlayStation Plus, or a traditional PlayStation Plus membership – which is required to play online games with the PlayStation 4 – will automatically receive an additional 5 days of service. Additionally, Sony is offering a 10% off coupon that will be good on any single purchase in the PlayStation store. That means those who were impacted could get 10% off movies, TV shows, downloadable content, or even digital games. That offer though, according to the blog post, will become available sometime this month.
The denial of service attack was executed by the online group known as “Lizard Squad,” and they’re said to have done it to prove the vulnerabilities in the two networks – and force the two companies – Sony and Microsoft, respectively – to begin taking cyber security seriously. Right now the FBI is conducting an investigation into the attack, and a couple arrests have been made – but no real insight has been gained into the actual attack itself. The Finnish individual who was arrested was arrested on entirely unrelated charges.
Lizard Squad though has determined how to monetize its attack on Sony’s PlayStation Network. They won’t do it by giving out crucial data – but rather selling the DDoS tool that shut down and crippled the network so badly in the first place for $5.99 a month. It’s called the “Lizard Stresser” product, and it offers several different packages along the way, but the cost is minor if the product works as advertised.
This would ultimately just make the situation that much worse, if a wide-range of individuals ended up buying into this program – if it is legitimate. If it’s not legitimate, then those individuals stand to have their money taken from them.
For Sony though, the battle seems to continue on, and 2015 has started the same way 2014 ended.