Infamous hacker group Lizard Squad is thought to be at it again, this time taking down Overwatch servers and leaving players unable to join and remain in a session.
Over the past week, Blizzard has been experiencing some problems with Battle.net that have made it difficult for players to use the service as intended with games like Overwatch. Now, there’s word that these issues might have been caused by a DDoS attack launched by members of hacker group Lizard Squad.
Some users are reporting that they are unable to log in to Battle.net. Others are able to enter, but find themselves kicked out of multiplayer matches in Overwatch for seemingly no reason.
Ordinarily, issues like these would be brushed off as being part and parcel of the modern online experience. However, a suspicious tweet from a known Lizard Squad member has led to the group being implicated, according to a report from VG247.
Hai there @BlizzardCS— AppleJ4ck (@AppleJ4ckxoxo) June 20, 2016
Don't mind me, just doing some preparations.
Take care of my packets, Thanks😘
The above tweet is being taken as proof that Lizard Squad member AppleJ4ck was involved with the attack. Some Overwatch players responded to his post to vent their annoyance about the situation — to which AppleJ4ck responded, “in a way, I’m doing y’all a favor.”
This is not the first time that Lizard Squad has targeted organizations within the video game industry. The group rose to prominence back in 2014, when a coordinated attack brought down the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live over Christmas, causing massive headaches for the companies involved.
Of course, the attack was not an unmitigated success for the group, as the high-profile hack made Lizard Squad an immediate target for authorities. Just days later, a 22-year-old alleged to be a part of the organization was the subject of a raid by police in the United Kingdom.
However, the strength of a group like Lizard Squad is the fact that they are spread all over the world. Individual members can be found and brought to justice, but it’s difficult to make a concerted attempt to stamp out its activity outright.
If the situation is hard on the authorities, then it’s even more challenging for a company like Blizzard. The overwhelming popularity of Overwatch means its hard enough for the company to keep Battle.net afloat at the best of team, never mind when there are hackers on the prowl.
Unfortunately, criminal elements like Lizard Squad are part and parcel of the modern online experience. Companies like Blizzard have to take these groups into consideration when operating a service like Battle.net — hackers have the power to ruin the experience for the rest of us, and the only defence is a robust level of security.
Overwatch is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.