Christmas Day attack halted the joys of some Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox owners after the network went down. Lizard Squad is again taking credit for the hack. The same group claimed to be the force behind a previous attack in August on the PlayStation Network and online games League of Legends and World of Warcraft.
This is a low blow for anyone who planned to spend the holiday with online video gaming. The distributed denial of service (DDos) attack was still causing problems on Friday morning. The PlayStation network remained officially offline while Xbox Live’s network status page showed the services as “up and running.”
This comes after the previous holiday interruption for Sony which was recently targeted in a massive cyber attack for its release of highly publicized comedy The Interview. Initially Sony canceled its Christmas Day release of the film, but has since decided to make it available to theaters which are willing to allow it in their locations. The controversial plot of the comedy centers on the assassination of Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader, and has been a source of controversy for Sony.
Although The Interview has still been restricted in many theaters across the country it still banked nearly $1 million at the box office from select showings on Christmas Day. Over the holiday weekend it has potential to make a couple million more with viewers in theaters, online and movie rentals. For a fee, the movie was made available online through Microsoft’s Xbox, YouTube, Google Play, Netflix and a special Sony website called SeeTheInterview.com.
The industry was forced to come up with an unconventional release of The Interview due to the controversy but learned ways their plan could change the future of movie releases. The ideal for a movie with this star-power would be inside the theater but their quick thinking revealed new options.
Sony recruited independently owned theaters and digital distributors as platforms for the movie’s release. No doubt the industry lost out on capital but at least 331 theaters that chose to premiere the movie reported sellout crowds on Christmas Day alone. Major chains like Regal and AMC rejected Sony’s release plans, but this did not stop the fans from utilizing other options. Seth Rogen tweeted this statement to his followers:
I need to say that a comedy is best viewed in a theater full of people, so if you can, I would watch it like that.” If watching online call some friends over to make it more like a theatrical screening.
The Interview spawned a cyber-attack last month by a hacker group called the Guardians of Peace. The group threatened the industry with a 9/11 type attack on theaters if they released the movie. Although the company initially retracted the Christmas Day release, to the delight of the fans, Sony changed its plan.
The most recent cyber-attack by the Lizard Squad seems to be unrelated to the Guardians of Peace. The Lizard Squad shut down Microsoft’s Xbox Live and Sony’s PlayStation Network much of Christmas Day with PlayStation’s denial being carried over to Friday. The Twitter account for Sony’s PlayStation said the company was looking into the outages. The network was still down as of Friday morning but anticipates being fully operational very shortly.
by Cherese Jackson (Virginia)