by Geoff Gillette
Nearly anyone with a Sony Playstation or Microsoft Xbox knows that Christmas was a sad time this year, due to the respective networks being taken off-line by a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack purportedly carried out by a collective known as the Lizard Squad. The group claimed they performed the cyber attack to show how little of console owners' hard-earned fees go toward security on those networks.
However, recent news articles seem to indicate the group may have just done the hack to advertise their services.
A recent article on Techspot shows that the Lizard Squad is now looking to add an entrepreneurial bent to their endeavors, by offering the same type of DDoS attack they launched on Sony and Microsoft for a price.
Industrial sabotage is nothing new, but could this blatant commercialization be a forerunner of the next step in corporate warfare? Your main competitor has a new product they’re about to launch. Pay someone for a DDoS and shut down their servers on launch day. Want a leg up on getting your product out the door? Make sure the competition can’t do business.
Of course the anonymous hackers claim that their product is not intended to be used for malicious or illegal purposes (ironic considering how they’ve used it), but their much nobler calling is to hire out their services to companies to “stress-test” their websites and services to see if their security is up to the challenge.
News reports say within hours of announcing the so-called Lizard Stresser, 25 individuals had signed up for the service already. The group claims to have a massive bot-net resource they can put toward similar attacks.
Regardless of how you might look at this situation (either Lizard Squad are jerks who purposely screwed with people on Christmas or hacktivists out to expose corporate incompetence) the commercialization of their service seems to imply that simple greed was at the root of it all.
And for those who might be thinking of signing on to Lizard Stresser, Gizmodo reports that the payment system doesn’t work with VPNs which would make it difficult for those users to keep their identities under wraps.
Are we headed for all out cyber-war? Let us know in the comments.