PlayStation, XBox Services Hacked; Tweet Points to ISIS

Sony exec's plane diverted over threat

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 25, 2014 8:58 AM CDT

(Newser) – Multiple major gaming networks faced technical trouble this weekend, and reports suggest hackers are to blame. Sony's PlayStation Network was down yesterday; Microsoft's Xbox Live and Blizzard's Battle.net were among other services apparently affected, the BBC reports. Meanwhile, a Sony executive was threatened in the air: The president of Sony Online Entertainment was onboard an American Airlines flight that received a bomb threat, forcing the Dallas to San Diego flight to land in Phoenix.

Exec John Smedley had been tweeting about a "large scale" hack of Sony's systems; he then tweeted that he was boarding a plane. A Twitter account for a group calling itself Lizard Squad said it was behind the hack and also noted the bomb threat, the AP reports. The same account, Breitbart notes, earlier tweeted that "Kuffar don't get to play videogames until bombing of the ISIL stops." (Kuffar refers to non-Muslims, while ISIL refers to the Islamic State, the BBC notes). But who is responsible for the attack isn't clear: A hacker with the Anonymous group also claimed to be behind the gaming attack, accompanying the claim with screenshots. That hacker says the effort was aimed at exposing Sony's security issues. No user data was breached in this attack, Sony says, per the AP, and the company says the system has been fixed.

Attendees take pictures at  the Sony's Playstation presentation ahead of the Electronic Entertainment Expo on Monday, June 9, 2014, in Los Angeles. The spotlight at this week's E3 is expected to shift to games.
Attendees take pictures at the Sony's Playstation presentation ahead of the Electronic Entertainment Expo on Monday, June 9, 2014, in Los Angeles. The spotlight at this week's E3 is expected to shift...   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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