Pokémon GO players experienced agonizing downtime over the weekend. OurMine, a hacker group, has now claimed that it was responsible for crippling the servers of the insanely popular game.
OurMine, the group that recently made waves by compromising social media accounts of tech juggernauts like Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai, and Jack Dorsey, among others, announced that they were responsible for the popular game going offline on Sunday. In other words, Pokémon GO servers were intentionally brought down.
The hacker group has claimed credit for a Distributed Denial of Service, or DDOS, attack on the Pokémon GO servers over the past weekend. While rumors of an digital attack had begun floating since Saturday, Niantic, the company that brought the game to the public, in association with Nintendo, chose to stay mum and did not divulge why many of the players were unable to access the game or data.
When the Pokemon Go servers are down pic.twitter.com/wIRFJhNINe— Danny Quinones (@TheKingDannyQ) July 17, 2016
According to PCMag, one of the members of the OurMine group sent an email that insisted the group didn’t have any ill intention behind bringing the servers down. The group added that it was only interested in making the makers of Pokémon GO aware of the existent security pitfalls and only wished to “teach them” to digitally safeguard themselves from future attacks,
“The [OurmMine] team is just trying to protect [companies’] servers. No one will be able to play this game till Pokémon Go contact us on our website to teach them how to protect it!
“We wrote we will stop the attack if any [Niantic] staff talked with us, because we will teach them how to protect their servers.”
OurMine justified its actions by categorically stating that if it doesn’t break into celebrity accounts and knock games offline, someone else will. In other words, they implied that it was better that the group brought the servers down, and not some other hacking collective with ulterior motives.
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While none of the OurMine members have identified themselves, the group has confirmed it has three “security experts.” TechCrunch reports the members are just teenagers. The group has been compromising social media accounts of some pretty big names in the tech industry.
The most recent victim of OurMine was Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, who had his Quora account hacked. The group shot to fame after it managed to hack into Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Twitter and Pinterest accounts. After successfully breaking into the accounts, the OurMine group cheekily writes that it is merely testing the security. The group also mentions its website for its victims to approach and seek help in safeguarding their accounts.
It appears OurMine is trying to rebrand itself as a security group, and insists that these incidents merely serve as advertisements for their security services. Interestingly, the group appears to be a money-making venture. Since online security is a vast minefield, the group charges anywhere between $30 and $5,000 for its services. In the past, it had managed to anger a few celebrities for advertising their security solutions.
While OurMine claims altruistic motives behind crippling the servers and leaving millions of Pokémon GO players high and dry, another group called PoodleCorp also claimed responsibility for the servers going down on their Twitter account.
Pokémon GO access was sketchy at best over the weekend. However, ever since its launch earlier this month, the makers have been struggling with a surging number of users who are clocking the highest platform engagement no other online service has ever managed to garner. Incidentally, the company has been aware of user frustration and claims to have taken steps to remedy the situation and eliminate such downtimes.
The issues causing the server problems have been identified. Trainers should once again be able to search for Pokémon in the real world.— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) July 17, 2016
Interestingly, in the case of Pokémon GO, OurMine claims it is not looking for money. Their sole intention behind crippling the servers was to alert Nintendo and Niantic about the vulnerabilities, reported the Independent.
[Photo by Kazuhiro Nogi/Getty Images]