PlayStation Network Back Online Following Weekend Cyber Attack

Aug 25, 2014 10:38 AM EDT | Matt Mercuro

PlayStation Network is back online today (Aug. 25) following a cyber-attack that took it down over the weekend, coinciding with a bomb scare on a commercial flight carrying a top Sony executive in the U.S.

Sony confirmed in a blog post that its PlayStation network had been taken down by a denial of service-style attack, which bombarded the system with traffic, but didn't intrude onto the network or access any of its 53 million users' information.

A Twitter user with the handle @LizardSquad took responsibility for the attack on Aug. 24, saying that the attack was meant to pressure Sony to spend more of its profits on the network.

"Sony, yet another large company, but they aren't spending the waves of cash they obtain on their customers' (PlayStation Network) service. End the greed," one post said on Sunday.

Sony's network business has been hit a number of times before, including a security breach back in 2011, forcing the company alter plans at the time for a looser network designed to allow for connection of a number of Sony devices.

Since then, the company has invested in the system and now is hoping the network can serve as a centerpiece of its plans to rebuild its business after years of losses in its flagship electronics operations.

Lizard Squad said that it has also targeted the servers of World of Warcraft video game makers Blizzard Entertainment, whose website also went down.

Microsoft Corp's Xbox Live network was also threatened to which some users said they had problems accessing on Sunday.

"We don't comment on the root cause of a specific issue, but as you can see on Xbox.com/status, the core Xbox LIVE services are up and running," Xbox spokesman David Dennis said to Reuters.

Lizard Squad also sent out a tweet to American Airlines this weekend saying they heard that explosives were on board a flight carrying Sony Online Entertainment President John Smedley.

The message followed a previous tweet from a game player's forum threatening the airline.

"I'm gonna send a bomb on your plane be ready for me tomorrow," the tweet reads.

A PlayStation spokeswoman in the United States said the FBI was investigating the diversion of the Dallas/Fort Worth to San Diego flight, according to Reuters.

American Airlines confirmed on its Twitter account that it was "aware of the threats" made over the blogging site, and it had already alerted security. 

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