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.

Rabbit lets you watch movies & videos with friends

There’s nothing quite like snuggling up with a friend — or friends — and streaming a movie on Netflix.

But what if those Netflix buddies are spread out around the world? How, then, can you enjoy a film together, cracking wise and taking in each other’s reactions?

A new service called Rabbit aims to bridge that geographical gap for Netflix watchers everywhere. The website — memorably located at www.rabb.it — lets you stream videos from Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and elsewhere on a single page, which pairs with a video chat service that lets up to 10 people watch the stream at once.

The heads of the people in the video chat float below the shared screen. A group text chat can pop out from the right side of the website, if you don’t want to interrupt the audio.

Rabbit Lets You Watch Netflix and YouTube with Friends Around the World

It’s easy to pop on any video you’d like and share it with teammates or friends. You can visit any webpage you want by typing the URL into what Rabbit calls the “Sharepad” — that row of streaming services you see just above the bubbleheads.

Though Rabbit lists Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, MLB.TV, Google Drive, and BuzzFeed, you can co-visit any site with a Web address using Rabbit. That made it easy for my team, for example, to look at an article, and chat about what we liked and didn’t like.

Rabbit is based entirely in the browser, so you don’t need to download a separate app to use it. Once you visit a Rabbit room, your webcam immediately starts up and inserts you into the chat — no registration, usernames, or passwords required.

Rabbit screenshot

Navigation within the streaming site, especially if you want to scroll down a page or highlight text, can be a little clumsy; you are basically using a virtual mouse on a virtual version of Google’s Chrome browser, and the cursor can be finicky. But once you get the video going, or the page loaded, the service does its job, playing the video without interruption for all parties.

If you are using Rabbit exclusively to video chat — an alternative to Google Hangouts or Skype, or any number of video conferencing services — there are drawbacks. There is a 10-person maximum per chat room, with no option to increase the number of participants. There is no way for the host of the chat to select whose face appears largest when he is talking; the service chooses the speaker, and sometimes it chooses incorrectly, so you are left staring at someone’s blank face while another person is talking. Those who have used Google Hangouts will find themselves longing for that service’s array of party hats and mustaches. More pressingly, right now Rabbit supports only the Google Chrome and Opera browsers; that means more than half of all Internet users would have to open up a different browser than the one they normally surf on.

Rabbit screenshot

But Rabbit certainly has advantages over more familiar video chat services. No one needs to make an account to start or join a chat, for example: You just open a room and then send a link to whomever you want to invite. (You can also register and create your own private, permanent room, password-protected or not.) The screen-sharing feature can be incredibly fun and is easy to use. And the design of Rabbit is super clean and appealing — and much more modern than Google+, Vidyo, or Skype.

Rabbit says it is working on adding support for more browsers and platforms, and that additional features are in the works. I’ll certainly be watching to see how the service improves and builds on its current bare-bones state. With its easy screen sharing and attractive design, the foundation for Rabbit is solid enough to support much more.

Indeed, for friends, colleagues, or Netflix streaming buddies who want to watch and talk about almost anything on the Internet together, Rabbit is definitely a big bunny hop in the right direction.

Facebook makes $407 every second

Wednesday evening Facebook was was down for a little over 30 minutes. In that time, the company lost somewhere in the ballpark of $854,700 in revenue. That figure’s based on a revenue report for last quarter. The company’s total takings from July to September? $3.2 billion.

So if, by some chance, you’re unable to post that status update or chat with your friends, there’s a good chance there’s an accountant somewhere who is a bit more upset than you are!