Xbox Live pummeled by DDoS attack; hacker group claims responsibility

Share this…

In an attack aping the work of the infamous Lizard Squad hacking group, the similarly titled Phantom Squad has claimed responsibility for a DDoS attack on Microsoft’s Xbox Live service. While the service is now currently back up, some users experienced problems logging in overnight. Sony’s PlayStation Network was not affected.

The attacks follow threats issued by Phantom Squad on its now suspended Twitter account. The group threatened to take down both Xbox Live and PlayStation Network over the Christmas period for as long as a week. Responding to criticism over the threats, the group said: “Why do we take down PSN and Xbox Live? Because cyber security does not exist,” and “Some men just want to watch PSN and Xbox Live burn.”

This was followed by a tweet yesterday reading “Xbox Live #Offline,” coinciding with the reported Xbox Live problems. “Maybe if you guys didn’t talk shit about us, we would not hit Xbox Live this early,” read another tweet. The group then threatened to take down PlayStation Network next, before its Twitter account was taken offline.

Enlarge / Phantom Squad issued another threat before its account went offline.

Microsoft issued a status update on its support site following the attacks:

“Hey Xbox members, are you having trouble purchasing or managing your subscriptions for Xbox Live? Are you also having an issue with signing into Xbox Live? We are aware of these issues and are working to get it fixed ASAP! Thank you for being patient while we work. We’ll post another update when more information becomes available.”

While Phantom Squad does not appear to be affiliated with Lizard Squad, the group was clearly inspired by Lizard Squad’s attack on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network over Christmas last year. The planned DDoS attack made it difficult, if not impossible, for players to log into PlayStation Network and Xbox Live on Christmas day.

The FBI was later reported to be investigating the groupand the attacks. After taking down other sites in DDoS attacks—including the infamous imageboard 8chan and the UK’s National Crime Agency—some members of the group were arrested, including a 17-year-old who was convicted of a whopping 50,700 charges but escaped jail time. Six UK teens were also arrested later in the year for being “customers” of Lizard Squad’s DDoS service.