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Hacker group Phantom Squad set to ruin Christmas for gamers this year

by Eric Frederiksen | December 18, 2015December 18, 2015 10:30 am PST


Whatever online service you might use to get your game on this holiday season, be it Xbox Live, PSN, or something else, you might have some trouble doing so. Last year, a hacker group called Lizard Squad was to blame. This year, it’s the Phantom Squad.

The name has changed, but much has stayed the same. The hacker group took to a now-suspended Twitter account to threaten the gaming services, saying that they plan to take down services like PSN and Xbox Live “because cyber security does not exist.”

Kim Dotcom, owner of Megaupload, who helped stop the attacks last year by appeasing the hackers, posted the following a few days ago:

Anonymous took the same stance as Dotcom, saying that Microsoft and Sony are to blame if the services go down again because, this time, it isn’t a surprise.

On December 17, Phantom Squad allegedly made good on their threat, taking credit for bringing Xbox Live down. When it came back up, the group tweeted “Lmao OF F***ING COURSE xbox live is back online we stopped the attacks.”

While the fault does ultimately lie with the hackers for taking the actions in the first place, this is a case where these large companies should be protecting their services and users even if the necessary actions are expensive. Of course, taking measures in security can be difficult. You can’t always divulge everything you’re doing lest that give the hackers clues about how else they could hassle you. It’s also possible that the losses caused by the downtime would be outweighed by the costs of protecting the services.

Either way, this is another reason to get those new consoles out before they’re wrapped and update them so that they’re ready on Christmas Day instead of stuck waiting days for services to come back online.


Eric Frederiksen

Eric Frederiksen has been a gamer since someone made the mistake of letting him play their Nintendo many years ago, pushing him to beg for his own,...