Sony exec’s plane under bomb threat as PSN downed by DoS

Flight rerouted as tweeted claim of on-board explosives coincides with cyber attack

Tags: Cyber crimeSony CorporationUSA
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Sony exec’s plane under bomb threat as PSN downed by DoS A cyber group has taken credit for the attack while claiming a bomb was on board Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley’s flight to San Diego. (Getty Images)
By  Stephen McBride Published  August 25, 2014

Sony Corp's PlayStation Network was yesterday hit by a denial-of-service attack that took the gaming ecosystem offline amid a US law enforcement probe into the diversion of a flight carrying a senior Sony executive because of a bomb threat, Reuters reported.

Yesterday a group known as Lizard Squad tweeted American Airlines saying a flight carrying Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley had explosives on board, according to a report by USA Today. Lizard Squad also tweeted a claim of responsibility for the denial of service attack, which impaired gaming services.

Smedley's flight, originally from Dallas, Texas to San Diego, California, was diverted to Phoenix, Arizona. The FBI is now investigating the incident.

According to a post on the PlayStation blog, no personal data was compromised during the DoS-style attack. In Dubai, gamers trying to access PSN were presented with a message that it was under maintenance.

"We will continue to work towards fixing this issue and hope to have our services up and running as soon as possible," the blog read.

DDoS attacks are on the rise regionally and globally, according to a number of recent reports by security companies.

"DDoS attacks have become the weapon of choice for the modern hacker," Marc Gaffan, co-founder and chief business officer at Incapsula, told ITP.net by email. "Our own research supports this, finding that DDoS attacks just like the one that recently hit the Playstation Network are up 240% in 2014.

"Attacks like this will continue to plague big name companies, thanks to the greater availability of resources for hackers. Persistent DDoS attacks can sometimes last for weeks, and in a time when anyone can Google up a 'botnet for hire' and use it to execute a 20-40Gbps attack, from several thousand sources, organisations across the world need to re-evaluate their DDoS protection, or risk the consequences." 

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