Steam was down and is now back up. But hacker group Phantom Squad is threatening to attack PlayStation Network and Xbox Live this holiday weekend, too. Should we be worried?
A lot of gamers were seriously pissed as Steam servers went down last Friday, Gamespot reported. It was a great cause of disappointment as players geared to take advantage of the holiday season were unable to enjoy Valve’s Steam service, which included the store, friend lists, and game servers.
The Steam server malfunction wrecked havoc all over the world following the announcement of the Steam Winter Sale, an annual Steam sale event which drastically drops the prices of hundreds of Steam products. The Steam Winter Sale will run til January 2, 6pm.
As of now, Steam servers are back up and running and the server problem is yet to be clarified by Valve. International Business Times reports that the platform’s crash could likely be the result of the huge boost in traffic that was brought by the Steam Winter Sale. However, more than a traffic issue, the Steam crash could also be another holiday DDoS (distributed denial of service). Notorious hacker group Phantom Squad are claiming responsibility once again for the Steam server malfunction.
The Phantom Squad is hacker group known for threatening attacks on game servers such as Steam, Xbox Live, and PlayStation Network, published via their Facebook and Twitter pages. iTechPost reported that the Phantom Squad claimed this week’s Steam server outage via a series of tweets on their Twitter account, which is now suspended following the said tweets.
— Colm McGlinchey (@ColmMcGlinchey) December 23, 2016
They claimed via Twitter that the Steam DDoS attack is just a part of a “serious operation” and that Steam is just the beginning. In fact, their last tweet before the account was suspended was addressed to Call Of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Xbox Live.
Twitter user and alleged Phantom Squad member @cripthepoodle claims to be part of the Steam server outage but his Twitter account, as of writing, is still online.
December 25th is the day I return to cause chaos on gaming networks… stay tuned
— crip (@cripthepoodle) November 3, 2016
If his older posts are to be believed, too, he could be pulling some serious heists with the Phantom Squad as he claims that he was arrested by the FBI last October.
As most of you saw I was arrested by the FBI a couple hours ago and they seized all my stuff…. this is goodbye pic.twitter.com/xmDALg8Uri
— crip (@cripthepoodle) October 6, 2016
If the Phantom Squad’s Facebook page is any legitimate, too, then it is a cause of worry for players running on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network fuel this coming holiday season. Phantom Squad is hinting that after the Steam server fiasco, the Xbox Live and PlayStation Networks are in danger.
This is not the first time, either, that the group is causing trouble, PlayStation Universe reports, as Phantom Squad also claimed responsibility for an DDoS attack on Xbox Live last year. December last year, right around the holiday playing season, too, Phantom Squad claimed responsibility for bringing down the Xbox Live network.
If we can remember, in 2014, PlayStation Network and Xbox Live were also severely affected by a hacker attack by another group Lizard Squad, a previous iTechPost reported. In fact, it was so legit that Lizard Squad members Bradly Jan Willem Van Rooy and Zachary Buchta, respectively from the Netherlands and Maryland, US, were brought to police custody on grounds of conspiring to damage computers. In a statement made by one of the Lizard Squad members, he acknowledged that a member of the Phantom Squad is a friend to the group and does have the resources to do the same attack—thus the Xbox Live outage of 2015.
Last month, Phantom Squad also dropped some hints that they will be attacking the PlayStation Network, although it never materialized.
Nevertheless, media outfits and players are still vigilant since the holidays are always a great time to bring down servers and cause trouble for a huge number of people. More than any time of the year, the holiday season is always the best time to give hackers the exposure and satisfaction they seek when attacking websites.
Let’s keep our eyes and ears peeled and hope that Xbox Live and PlayStation Network pulls through this holiday.
[Featured image by Daniel Chetroni/Shutterstock]