Interview with Lizard Squad & why they brought down Xbox Live and PSN

(This interview is reposted from WinBeta.org – the link for the original post is located at the bottom of the page.)

The Convo

WinBeta verified via multiple methods, that we were in fact speaking to the core members of the Lizard Squad. A verification file can still be found on their official website by clicking here.

The conversation took place through an encrypted connection, and as their Twitter account proudly proclaims, there would not have been a chance to track them down. Instead, WinBeta took the time to ask about the group’s methodology and ideology behind the series of attacks.

Their Motivation

Lizard Squad explains that the task simply began for the laughs, but evolved into what they say is a real cause. Taking down Microsoft and Sony networks shows the companies’ inability to protect their consumers and instead shows their true vulnerability. Lizard Squad claims that their actions are simple, take down gaming networks for a short while, and forcing companies to upgrade their security as a result.

When asked why Microsoft and Sony where both targeted on Christmas day, the group explained they felt it would anger and reach the largest amount of people – more people angry calls for a greater response from the companies; others were considered, including Nintendo, but no action was taken. The group is attempting to stress the point of computer security, while also getting a few “laughs”.

Lizard Squad noted that they could take down NASDAQ if they wanted to damage the economy, but stated that it was not their goal; they jokingly refer to themselves as terrorists, but do not feel they are on that level of notorious mischief.

The Security

When asked which company was easier to bring down, Microsoft was the immediate response. They commented that Sony had recently upgraded their security, via a new system we will not mention here, which took a bit of time to work around, but that Microsoft simply had the poorest security – “almost nothing”. When asked how each company was fighting back – the group alluded to the idea that they were easily keeping the networks down.

When asked how long they would continue their series of intermittent attacks, the Lizard Squad stated that they would continue to do it until companies learned from their security issues – they were unwilling to comment on any timeframe.

The Save

Recently, KimDotCom, provided the group with a number of lifetime vouchers for Mega’s upload site as a negotiation. We spoke to the group as soon as they temporarily stopped their attacks on the networks and asked when the attacks would start up again; once again, they refused to comment on a timeframe, but did note that the attacks would be coming back.

As with most deeds in this world, it is not black and white – good or evil, it is up to us, the people, to decide whether or not the Lizard Squad is a terrorist organization or a utilitarian black angel.

 

Original article can be found here.

Lizard Squad takes credit for taking down Sony and Xbox

As promised on Christmas, hackers targeted the Sony PlayStation Network and Xbox Live, causing gamers headaches.

The Lizard Squad reportedly has taken credit for dropping Microsoft’s Xbox Live and Sony’s PlayStation Network on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. It’s not a complete surprise to hear of the cyberattacks, with the group promising them all month long. Lizard Squad used a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, with the FBI and other hacker groups reportedly targeting them.

Unfortunately, the group demanded 10,000 retweets of a message posted on Twitter, so gamers will be able to access Xbox.com, Xbox Live and other services – and regain playability on PSN.

It’s not a surprise they wanted to target the attack for Christmas day, as many gamers plug in their consoles for the first time – or hit the power switch to begin playing a new title.

Sony reveals PS4 20th Anniversary Edition

The iconic Sony PlayStation turns 20 today, and the company is celebrating with the launch of a 20th Anniversary Edition PS4 specially detailed as an homage to the console’s first version.

The main console, controller and PlayStation Camera are all decked in “Original Grey”, mimicking the body of the 1994 PlayStation. The lower console body panel, as well as the touchpad on the controller are etched with a pattern featuring the controller button symbols as well as a ‘2’ to signify the console’s 20th anniversary. There’s even a vertical stand for the console to prop it upright just like the original.

Only 12,300 numbered units of the limited edition PS4 will be available worldwide, at $499 in North America, €499 in Europe and 49,980 Yen in Japan. Pre-orders in the US and Canada open on Dec 6.

WIELD THE SWORD OF CROTA IN NEW DESTINY PUBLIC EVENT

Just in time for the upcoming Dark Below expansion, Destiny players can now use the Sword of Crota in Patrol.

The blade, which originally appeared in a mission of the same name, is now available as part of a new public event called The Blades of Crota. The new event was discovered as part of the new update (Dec 1st, 2014), and its occurrence is on both the Moon and on Earth.

In order to get your hands on the sword, you’ll have to wait for the event to start and track down a gold Hive Knight called The Blade of Crota. After killing him, the sword will be yours to use. It will only last a minute or two, so be sure to make it count!!!

XBOX LIVE ON ITS FEET AGAIN

Xbox Live is online again after suffering an outage, with a hacker group claiming to have DDoSed its servers.

Their alleged antics left many in the United States and Canada unable to connect to the service at all, while others reported that only their friends lists were affected.

Thankfully, it appears the service is now back up, with the Xbox Live status page reporting no problems!

The group Lizard Squad took credit for the outage on Twitter, and is threatening that there is more to come and will do it again over Christmas. Unfortunately some people are just like that. The group also claimed to be behind PSN’s issues back in August.

The newest update for Destiny goes live today

Bungie has released a new update for first-person shooter Destiny that makes significant changes to the game’s most powerful items.

The 75.09MB update, which brings the game up to version 1.1, buffs a raft of exotic class guns and nerfs one of its most popular.

Today’s Destiny update comes a week before the release of expansion one: The Dark Below.
“Exotic Weapons are designed to look, feel, and sound overpowered,” the developer wrote on Bungie.net.

“At the same time, they are not supposed to break the balance of the game. We hope these weapons challenge the way players think about their loadouts. Exotics will be a constant work in-progress.”

Of particular interest, the much-maligned Thorn and Bad Juju guns have been buffed. Meanwhile the Suros Regime auto rifle, used by many players, has been nerfed.

Bungie has also changed the way you upgrade exotic weapons and armor. In a move clearly designed to help players fully upgrade their best items before next week’s release of expansion one The Dark Below, exotics no longer require the tricky-to-get Ascendant Materials to upgrade. Now, the final node of all exotic gear requires a new material called Exotic Shard.

You can get an Exotic Shard from dismantling unwanted exotics or buying them from once-a-week NPC vendor Xur for seven Strange Coins. It’s worth noting that exotic weapons now start at a higher base attack value, but have a narrowed upgrade range to compensate for the changes Bungie has made with today’s update.

Here’s a significant change: destination materials (Spinmetal, Relic Iron, Spirit Bloom and Helium Filaments) now drop from completing the Daily Heroic mission and the Daily Patrol Bounty. You can also buy them using Vanguard Marks and Crucible Marks. The exchange rate is 10 Marks for 20 upgrade materials. This changes the way material farming works so that hunting down chests in Patrol mode is not the only realistic option for players.

Those who play the game’s raid, Vault of Glass, will be disappointed to know that Bungie has tweaked the Templar boss fight so that it can’t be forced off its platform. Using grenades to do this was a popular “cheese” tactic among players.

And finally, Bungie has fixed an issue that was causing the Xbox One version’s frame-rate to drop for those who were using party chat.

Here are the patch notes in full:

–> WEAPONS

EXOTICS

  • In preparation for the Dark Below, Exotic Armour and Weapons no longer require Ascendant Materials to upgrade
  • The final upgrade node of all Exotic Gear will require an Exotic Shard
  • Exotic Shards can be obtained by one of the following means: Dismantling unwanted Exotics, Purchased from Xur for 7 Strange Coins
  • Exotics now start at a higher base Attack value and have a narrowed upgrade range to compensate

THORN

  • Projectiles now briefly highlight targets on impact
  • Mark of the Devourer DoT (damage-over-time) upgrade increased against PvE enemy targets
  • Reload Speed increased
  • Magazine Size increased
  • Ammo inventory size increased
  • Stability and Weapon Handling increased

BAD JUJU

  • Magazine Size increased to 8 bursts (was 5)
  • Ammo inventory size increased
  • String of Curses now also decreases the cooldown of your Super on kill
  • Adjusted effects to not block first person reticle

HARD LIGHT

  • Stability increased
  • Perfect Balance upgrade replaced by Fitted Stock (increases maximum possible weapon Stability)

SUROS REGIME

  • Lowered total damage at the end of the mag on SUROS Regime upgrade to be more in line with the Glass Half Full perk on Legendary Auto Rifles

MONTE CARLO

  • Stability increased
  • Range slightly decreased
  • Monte Carlo Method upgrade now also has a chance to fully charge melee ability on kill

MIDA MULTI-TOOL

  • MIDA rounds now have increased knockback against targets in both PvE and PvP

HAWKMOON

  • Send It upgrade (which was redundant) replaced by Speed Reload

RED DEATH

  • Rate of Fire increased slightly, but Burst Damage reduced to compensate

PLAN C 

  • Weapon Handling speed increased
  • Player Speed increased while Plan C is in hand

POCKET INFINITY

  • Speed Reload upgrade replaced by Extended Clip which allows the option to increase magazine size (5 bursts)

VEX MYTHOCLAST

  • Attack Power increased to 323 (from 300)
  • Base Damage increased, fixing bug introduced in previous patch
  • Enhanced Battery upgrade by Extended Mag (this change still allows for a significant upgrade to Magazine Size, but less than before)

INVECTIVE

  • Reload Speed increased significantly, auto fires slightly slower

ICE BREAKER

  • Send It upgrade replaced by Lightweight (which was redundant as Icebreaker already had maximum range)
  • New effects for enemies killed by Ice Breaker upgrade

PATIENCE AND TIME

  • Snapshot upgrade replaced by Custom Optics (provides a lower zoom option)

SUPER GOOD ADVICE

  • Stability increased

TRUTH

  • Magazine Size increased to 3 (was 1)

–> ACTIVITIES

RAID

  • Fixed an issue we introduced in a previous patch, in which Atheon did not correctly send 3 players through the time gates
  • Fixed an exploit where the Templar could be forced off its platform

DAILY HEROIC STORY

  • Destination Materials now drop from completing the Daily Heroic

BOUNTIES

  • Removed the ‘Relic Hunter’ Bounty
  • Destination Materials now drop from completing the Daily Patrol Bounty

–> VENDORS

  • Reduced Cryptarch reputation gain from Engrams, but reputation reward packages now have an increased chance for Legendary Engrams
  • Players will now be able to use Vanguard Marks and Crucible Marks to purchase Spinmetal, Relic Iron, Spirit Bloom, and Helium Filaments from the Vanguard and Crucible Quartermasters in the Tower
  • Xur now sells a new material, Exotic Shards, to upgrade the final node of Exotics for 7 Strange Coins
  • Faction Class Items (ex: FWC Cloak, Dead Orbit Mark, etc.) are now replaced by Faction Emblems in the rank-up reward packages from Faction Vendors

–> TECHNICAL

  • Networking fixes, which should reduce the instance of the Bee family of KTOs
  • Fixed an issue in which using Xbox One party chat induced a slower frame rate

New Movies for Netflix for December

Holiday season is here and with it comes a new batch of movies and television shows on Netflix that can help you enjoy time with your family. In addition to the list of movies and TV series coming to the streaming service in December, there’s also a list of content that will be removed from the lineup starting Dec. 1.

After your turkey coma on Thursday you can cuddle up with Dirty Dancing, Double Indemnity, Mission: Impossible III or Spice World before saying sayonara to them. Come December, if you’re upset about no longer being able to see Johnny Castle dance with Baby, you can console yourself with a drugged-up Jordan Belfort when The Wolf of Wall Street hits Netflix on Dec. 11.

Other December highlights include the new Netflix series Marco Polo, American Horror Story: Coven, Almost Famous, American Beauty and, of course, Sharknado 2: The Second One.

AVAILABLE DECEMBER 1ST

A Knight’s Tale (2001)
Almost Famous (2000)
American Beauty (1999)
Bewitched (2005)
Jewtopia (2012)
Knights of Badassdom (2014)
Madison (2005)
Out of the Clear Blue Sky (2012)
Out of Time (2003)
The Out-of-Towners (1999)
Troop Beverly Hills (1989)
Turbo FAST (New episodes)

AVAILABLE DECEMBER 3RD

Oculus (2014)
Son of God (2014)

AVAILABLE DECEMBER 5TH

Bill Burr: I’m Sorry You Feel That Way (2014)

AVAILABLE DECEMBER 6TH

American Horror Story: Coven
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues Super-sized version (2013)
Ava & Lala (2014)
Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014)

AVAILABLE DECEMBER 8TH

Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (Season 3)

AVAILABLE DECEMBER 9TH

I Am Ali (2014)
Drive Hard (2014)

AVAILABLE DECEMBER 10TH

A Haunted House 2 (2014)

AVAILABLE DECEMBER 11TH

The Village (2004)
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

AVAILABLE DECEMBER 12TH

Broadchurch (Season 1)
Marco Polo (Season 1)
Nick Offerman: American Ham

AVAILABLE DECEMBER 13TH

Don’t Blink (2014)

AVAILABLE DECEMBER 15TH

Jake Squared (2014)

AVAILABLE DECEMBER 18TH

Ragnarok (2014)
The Honourable Woman (Season 1)

AVAILABLE DECEMBER 19TH

All Hail King Julien

AVAILABLE DECEMBER 20TH 

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones Extended Edition (2014)

AVAILABLE DECEMBER 22ND

Dark Skies (2013)
Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (1997)

AVAILABLE DECEMBER 23RD

The Trip to Italy (2014)

AVAILABLE DECEMBER 24TH

Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return (2014)

AVAILABLE DECEMBER 25TH

Good People (2014)

AVAILABLE DECEMBER 27TH

Child of God (2014)
Labor Day (2013)

AVAILABLE DECEMBER 28TH

Behaving Badly (2014)
Comedy Bang! Bang! (Season 3)
I, Frankenstein (2014)
Maron (Season 2)
Jessie (Season 3)

AVAILABLE DECEMBER 30TH

Last Weekend (2014)

LEAVING DECEMBER 1ST

1941 (1979)
The Apostle (1997)
Audrey Rose (1977)
The Believers (1987)
Better than Chocolate (1999)
Blood & Chocolate (2007)
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008)
Chaplin (1992)
The Choirboys (1977)
The Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County (1970)
Coffee and Cigarettes (2003)
The Cold Light of Day (1996)
The Constant Gardener (2005)
Count Yorga, Vampire (1970)
Cry-Baby (1990)
Dirty Dancing (1987)
Double Indemnity (1944)
En la Cama (2005)
Event Horizon (1997)
Eye for an Eye (1996)
Fairy Tale: A True Story (1997)
First Knight (1995)
Five Easy Pieces (1970)
Foreign Student (1994)
Free Men (2011)
Funny Lady (1975)
The Ghost and Mrs Muir (1947)
The Girl from Petrovka (1974)
Going Berserk (1983)
The Great Waldo Pepper (1975)
House of Voices (2004)
How to Frame a Figg (1971)
I’m Not Rappaport (1996)
Imagining Argentina (2003)
Invaders from Mars (1986)
Ishtar (1987)
Joe Gould’s Secret (2000)
Joe Kidd (1972)
Johnny Mnemonic (1995)
Killer at Large (2008)
King of the Hill (1993)
Lonely Hearts (2006)
Magic Trip (2011)
Magicians (2007)
Mission: Impossible III (2006)
Minnie and Moskowitz (1971)
Monkey Shines (1988)
Mr. Mom (1983)
‘night Mother (1986)
Night of the Creeps (1986)
An Officer and a Gentleman (1982)
Opal Dream (2006)
The Other Side of the Mountain (1975)
The Other Side of the Mountain, Part 2 (1978)
Our City Dreams (2008)
The Paper Chase (1973)
Paradise Alley (1978)
The Parole Officer (2001)
The Pirates of Penzance (1983)
Prairie Love (2011)
The Presidio (1988)
The Promise (1979)
The Proposition (1998)
Reds (1981)
The Return of Count Yorga (1971)
RoboCop 2 (1990)
School Ties (1992)
The Sci-Fi Boys (2006)
The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)
Spice World (1998)
Star Trek: Generations (1994)
Swashbuckler (1976)
The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
They Might Be Giants (1971)
The Untouchables (1987)
The Vampire Lovers (1970)
Walker (1987)
Year of the Horse: Neil Young & Crazy Horse Live (1997)
Young Sherlock Holmes (1985)

Hacker group claims responsibility for taking Xbox offline

Xbox owners are reporting difficulties connecting to Xbox Live and a hacker group with a history of targeting online gaming services is claiming responsibility for taking the network offline.

Xbox 360 and Xbox One owners have reported that they’ve been unable to connect to Xbox Live. Consoles are responding with the 80151909 error code — it warns that an Xbox Live profile has failed to download — when users attempt to sign in. My own attempt to sign in to Xbox Live from consoles and through Xbox.com have been unsuccessful too. 😦

Microsoft’s Xbox support site doesn’t indicate their are any current issues with Xbox Live services or apps.

The hacker group Lizard Squad indicated on Twitter that it is responsible for taking Xbox Live offline. The group, which describes itself as “kings” of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, tweeted that it was preparing for a larger attack at Christmas on Xbox Live and that today was a “small dose of what’s to come.”

Earlier this year, the group claimed responsibility for a similar attack on Sony’s PlayStation Network, as well as denial-of-service attacks on individual online games like Grand Theft Auto 5, League of Legends, Destiny and more.