Hackers target Tor as PlayStation disruption continues

Following Tor's warning of a possible attack, Lizard Squad says it has taken aim at the anonymous network

Hackers who apparently attacked Sony's PlayStation Network (PSN) and Microsoft's Xbox Live on Christmas Day have taken aim at anonymous network Tor.

Lizard Squad, which claimed responsibility for the outage , on Friday tweeted, "To clarify, we are no longer attacking PSN or Xbox. We are testing our new Tor 0day."

While at least one site that maps the Tor network showed numerous routers with the name "LizardNSA," the extent of any attack was unclear.

Tor directs user traffic through thousands of relays to ensure anonymity. In a Dec. 19 blog post, Tor managers warned of a possible attack, saying, "There may be an attempt to incapacitate our network in the next few days through the seizure of specialized servers in the network called directory authorities."

Sony engineers, meanwhile, continued to struggle to get PSN back online Friday following the suspected denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on Thursday.

Sony's Twitter account for PSN asked frustrated gamers to be patient as staff worked to get the service back up and running, saying it did not know when PSN would be back online.

"We are aware that some users are experiencing difficulty logging into the PSN," Sony said on its PlayStation support page, where the network was listed as offline.

In a Twitter post showing a chat with the alleged hackers, MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom suggested he had convinced Lizard Squad to stop the attacks in return for lifetime memberships on his file-transfer site Mega.

Lizard Squad had taken credit for an apparent attack against PSN earlier this month, as well as an attack in August. The incident came at the same time that a U.S. flight carrying Sony Online Entertainment President John Smedley was diverted for security reasons.

Xbox Live was back again Friday following disruptions, with core services up and running.

Yesterday, some users were unable to sign in to Xbox Live," a Microsoft spokesman said in a statement sent via email. "Our teams worked throughout the holiday to resolve the issue, and Xbox Live core services have now been restored."

The company did not elaborate on the cause of the disruption.

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Tim Hornyak

IDG News Service
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