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Lizard Squad

The hacking group known as Lizard Squad has been making quite a nuisance of itself, associating the hackers with two high profile events. Lizrad Squad claiming responsibility say they were behind both the attack on the Malaysia Airlines website, which resulted in users being redirected to a page bearing the headline “404 – plane not found”, and an alleged DDoS (Directed Denial of Service) attack on Facebook that temporarily took the website offline.

It should be noted that Facebook has denied being hacked, claiming the 40-minute outage was due to a change that affected its configuration systems. Meanwhile, Malaysia Airlines assured customers and clients that its website had not been hacked, and that only the domain name – www.malaysiaairlines.com – had been temporarily redirected to another site.

According to a report in The Telegraph, Lizard Squad is a group of hackers that has gained notoriety for attacking a number of major technology companies including Sony, Microsoft and Facebook. The group first came to the world’s attention in August 2014 when it began attacking a range of online games, including “League of Legends” and “Destiny”.

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This was followed by more high-profile attacks on Sony’s Playstation Network and Microsoft’s Xbox Live in August and December. Cyber security experts told i-HLS that the so-called Lizard Squad appears to have a particular vendetta against Sony.

In August 2014, for example, Lizard Squad tweeted a threat against an airliner on which Sony’s president of online entertainment was travelling. The passenger aircraft ended up making an emergency landing.

The group also claims to have affiliations with the Islamic State (ISIS). During the Malaysia Airlines website attack, it described itself as the “Cyber Caliphate” (the hacking wing of Islamic State). It also planted the ISIS flag on Sony’s servers in August.

While the motivation behind Lizard Squad’s attacks may appear to be political, however, the main purpose is to publicize the group’s hacking tool, known as Lizard Stresser. It is thought the link to ISIS could therefore be a ploy to get more coverage by the media.