PSN, Xbox Live takedowns were 'marketing scheme', say hackers

A Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack is something that can have a ripple effect throughout the Internet, and typically not a good one. On Christmas Day, we saw both the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live go down — and with regard to the PSN, down hard. That was all a 'marketing scheme' according to the group claiming responsibility for it. "Just how is a DDoS a marketing ploy?", you might ask. As it turns out, the hacker crew behind the attacks are now selling their DDoS services.

A DDoS is an attack that does one thing, and often really well: it overloads servers. By using computers set up as bots to swarm a server, the hardware is rendered nearly useless for a given time due to the massive amounts of data requested. It's the digital version of a long line at the grocery store (especially when they do that thing where there are no other cashiers to help out, so you're left staring at open, empty registers).

All that fake traffic makes it hard for real users to connect, which is what we saw with the attacks on gaming networks. You can't connect, media outlets cover the story — marketing!

The Lizard Squad is now selling their various attack methods for Bitcoin, which has seen it's own share of troubles. From $6 in Bitcoin, anyone can buy their own DDoS attack. For a sustained effort, a $130 Bitcoin/month tier will bring roughly 20 days of DDoS. $500 in bitcoin gives you unlimited DDoS tries.

Speaking to Daily Dot, the Lizard Squad says the attacks were a "huge marketing scheme" to solicit people to buy their service. A representative for the collective said "Playing games on a Twitter is fun, but it comes down to the money."

At stake is the legality of it all, as well as various websites being leg-swept. Lizard Squad has already sold some of their DDoS services, and cites "privacy concerns for criminals" as a reason they don't really track who their customers are or what sites they might be targeting.

Source: Daily Dot