Following on from last Thursday’s hacking debacle, wherein Xbox Live and PSN were brought to their knees by online mischief group ‘Lizard Squad’, links have been drawn between these events and everyone’s favourite insane hermit nation, North Korea.
Whilst there is little doubt that no country would be more likely to disrupt a consumerist Christmas than NK, can we really be expected to believe they conspired with a Finland-based hacker group just to stop people playing video games?
Having earlier in the month undertaken DDoS attacks against Xbox Live, PSN and even the League of Legends’ servers, it might surprise some to know that Lizard Squad have claimed responsibility for the recent collapse of North Korea’s entire internet service on the 22nd of December. Whilst seemingly this attack was levelled against Kim Jong Un’s failed state in response to their supposed disruption of Sony’s servers, Lizard Squad was apparently involved in those very same hacks as well, and has links with the group ‘Guardians of Peace’, who were the culprits of the infamous Sony hack in response to the imminent release of the North Korean parody film The Interview.
According to IntelCrawler, an American cyber-security company, Lizard Squad and Guardians of Peace are related groups. Although not all of IntelCrawler’s reasons for this suspicion have been revealed, they noted that the two organisations often interact with each other on social media sites, and tend to conduct their cyber-attacks on almost identical time frames. Along with this IntelCrawler pointed to their usage of similar slang terms and colloquialisms, yet how much this can point to a tangible link is debatable.
Whilst GOP’s links with North Korea are the subject of considerable controversy, the United States’ government remains convinced the two are working together, in particular the FBI has stated publicly that they believe them to be connected. The links can be somewhat quantified given the GOP’s threats of terrorist attacks against any cinema that screened the movie, President Obama responded to these threats by promising a ‘proportional’ response, immediately before the North Korean internet collapse on the 22nd, which Lizard Squad claim to have orchestrated.
So if everyone’s suspicions are correct, and Guardians of Peace, Lizard Squad and North Korea are all interconnected and working with each other against the US and companies such as Sony, then why would Lizard Squad be claiming responsibility for the North Korean internet failure?
Undoubtedly Lizard Squad and North Korea could easily share anti-US sentiment, but the extent of the connection between these groups is still very much up for debate. With The Interview recently released for online purchase, and Lizard Squad showing no signs of disappearing, I’m sure we can expect to see the situation develop in the near future.