Hackers have once again targeted Sony, disabling its online PlayStation store for over 2 hours this Monday.
Just last month Sony Pictures Entertainment networks were attacked, resulting in the illegal release of several upcoming films, including Christmas movie Annie, as well as the leak of sensitive documents.
The attack on the PlayStation Network lasted from 8.52 a.m. to 11.18 a.m. Tokyo time, during which some visitors to the online store saw the following message: “Page not found. It’s not you. It’s the internet’s fault.”
Lizard Squad strike again?
The source of the attack is as yet unknown, and Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) (TYO:6758) says that the site is now functioning as normal. Up to this point the company claims that no information was leaked or stolen by the attackers.
A tweet from a group calling themselves Lizard Squad appeared to claim responsibility for the attack: “PSN Login #offline #LizardSquad.” Last week the group posted a similar tweet after users had problems logging in to Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Xbox Live service.
Although it is not the first time the PlayStation Network has been hacked, this latest cyber attack came at a bad time for Sony, which is relying on strong figures from its gaming division to make up for poor sales of smartphones and other consumer electronics.
North Korean motive behind Sony hack attack
After one attack in 2011, the personal information of over 100 million PlayStation Network users was leaked. Since last month’s attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment networks, speculation has been rife that North Korea carried out the attack in revenge for the impending release of The Interview.
The movie, written by Seth Rogen, tells the story of a farcical assassination attempt on Kim Jong-un by two journalists who have been recruited by the CIA. Earlier this year North Korea wrote a letter to the United Nations, complaining about the film and accusing the U.S. of sponsoring terrorism.
North Korea has officially denied responsibility for the attack. For its part, Sony is working with the FBI in order to investigate how several of its new films were released on piracy websites. Affected films include Annie, Fury, featuring Brad Pitt, and Mr Turner, starring Timothy Spall.