Lizard Squad hacks Facebook, but who are these amphibians?
We all survived the great Facebook/Instagram/Tinder outage of the 27th January and we are now learning why it occurred.
The official line from Facebook was:
“Earlier this evening many people had trouble accessing Facebook and Instagram. This was not the result of a third party attack but instead occurred after we introduced a change that affected our configuration systems. We moved quickly to fix the problem, and both services are back to 100% for everyone.”
However, during and after the outage, we have repeatedly heard about a group who go by the name of the Lizard Squad and claims that they may have been responsible.
For those who do not follow cyber security issues, the Lizard Squad are a group of “hackers for hire”.
This means they are computer wizards who are basically able to perform the equivalent of a break and enter but on major computer systems. They claim that the bulk of their attacks are paid for. That is, they don’t bring down huge international servers for their own purposes but at the request (and payment) of ‘clients’.
The Lizard Squad have a Facebook page and a twitter account. Yet their paid attacks are never announced on the group’s own social media feeds. They claim they are “professionals” who respect the privacy of the people and groups who use their services.
They call themselves ‘DDoS for hire’, which means Distributed Denial of Service – computer speak for sending huge, huge, huge amounts of internet traffic to a single online service until it becomes overwhelmed and crashes.
Apparently, their services are quite popular.
Were they responsible for bringing Facebook and Instagram down yesterday?
The group appear to have been responsible for the attack on the Sony Play Station Network at Christmas time, Xbox Live Network and in recent days claimed responsibility for an attack on the Malaysian Airlines Website which began showing pro ISIS slogans, along with an attack on singer Taylor Swift.
The Malaysian Airlines attack is particularly concerning as they claim to have taken customer details from the servers, which means it may be time to change credit cards if you have used that airline recently.
It is unclear whether the group managed to crash Facebook and Instagram yesterday. However they are certainly putting out sly communications that they did. This would be a huge technical feat given the sheer size and strength of the social media giants’ server capacity.
I’m confused. Take me back step – what is a DDos attack?
It is an attempt to make an online service (website) unavailable by overwhelming it with traffic from multiple sources.