A screen grab of the official website of national carrier Malaysia Airlines after it was hacked on January 26, 2015 by a group calling itself the
A screen grab of the official website of national carrier Malaysia Airlines after it was hacked on January 26, 2015 by a group calling itself the "Official Cyber Caliphate". The website, www.malaysiaairlines.com, currently shows a photograph of a lizard in a top hat and tuxedo, surrounded by the messages '404 - Plane Not Found' and 'Hacked by Lizard Squad Official Cyber Caliphate'. Representatives from the airline did not respond to calls by Reuters. MAS was hit by twin air disasters last year: the disappearance of Flight MH370 in March and the shooting down of Flight MH17 a few months later. The government took the airline private late last year.REUTERS/Handout

Lizard Squad is into the headline again, of course, for their notorious activities to take down any famous website through dDos attack. This time the victims were a handful of websites including the famous social platforms, Instagram and Facebook. The list continues with other social networking websites like Tinder, AIM and Hipchat.

Once the website went down, the Lizard Squad Twitter account @LizardMafia claimed to take those sites down along with a new promise to bring more sites down to its knees. Facebook and Instagram both came back online in an hour and denied the attack, mentioning it happened after introducing some modification affecting the configuration system.

We are not sure about behind the reasons regarding the outage yet, but it is confirmed that the same black-hat hacker group hacked the Sony PlayStation and Microsoft XBOX hack. Read on to know more about this villainous group.

The Facebook hack claim tweet by Lizard Squad
The Facebook hack claim tweet by Lizard SquadScreenshot/Twitter

Who is Lizard Squad?

Lizard Squad is like many other black-hat hacker group that loves to be in the headline by targeting several high-profile sites.

Ever since the evolution of hacking, the hackers are divided into 2 groups: First are the white-hat hackers, who never go beyond the ethics of hacking and hack only for future security improvements. The second are the black-hat hackers who never follows any ethics while hacking and loves to show their computing knowledge.

Scattered in several countries and regions, the hackers get loosely connected via IRC client, pastebin type text sharing networks and follows their group morale. Interestingly, every hacker group follows strict guidelines like political parties and play everyone's part.

Origin & Rival Groups

Earlier a group named LulzSec hacked user accounts of Sony Pictures and claimed to take down the FBI site. The group used the motto "Laughing at your security since 2011!" and its website, created in June 2011, played the theme from The Love Boat. It announced its exploits via Twitter and its own website, often accompanied with light-hearted ASCII art drawings of boats. Its website also included a Bitcoin donation link to help fund its activities.

Interestingly, Lizard Squad has a rival group too. Named as Finest Squad, the hacker group has tweeted following the Sony PlayStation hack: "We've been contacted by several law enforcers. We have forwarded all the proofs and some of the LizardSquad Members Locations."

Another loosely connected hacker group - Anonymous - has their own reasons for pledging a cyber war. They waged a war against Ku Klux Clan and Charlie Hebodo attacker for snatching the power of freedom.

Measures and Intentions behind the hacks

The basic tool behind every Lizard Squad attack is DDos or Distributed Denial of Service attack. A DDos attack is an attempt to make a machine or network resource unavailable to its intended users.

One common method of attack involves saturating the target machine with external communications requests, so much so that it cannot respond to legitimate traffic, or responds so slowly as to be rendered essentially unavailable. Such attacks usually lead to a server overload.

In general terms, DoS attacks are implemented by either forcing the targeted computer(s) to reset, or consuming its resources so that it can no longer provide its intended service or obstructing the communication media between the intended users and the victim so that they can no longer communicate adequately.

Following the infamous Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox hack, Lizard Squad claimed both the hacks were a part of their newly developed DDos tool, which they are willing to sell. After buying the tool, customers can target any network in similar manner using the the tool. Several people bought the tool by paying around $11,000 worth Bitcoin, but the tool was hacked later.

So the intention of Lizard Squad has not yet been cleared, some claim that they are doing all these as part of business promotion where some others claim they are doing all these just for being in the headlines.

Major Attacks

Starting August 2014, Lizard Squad has hacked several high profile gaming company websites. On 18 August 2014, they claimed to hack the famous multiplayer online gaming platform League of Legends through a tweet.

On the same date they also claimed responsibility of taking down a gaming website RunScape. After a few days they claimed responsibility of Riot, another game publisher website and tweeted to fix their security flaws. They also hacked Twitch streaming service and asked them to ink "Lizard Squad" on their forehead and post a photo to get back their posted data.

Next they targeted the Blizzard Entertainment online gaming service Battle.net and in the following week they claimed to bog down Sony's PlayStation network and Microsoft owned Xbox Live gaming server.


Following the @LizardSquad tweet sayin,g "Today we planted the ISIS flag on @Sony's Server #ISIS #Jihad", several people believe that Lizard Squad is a pro-ISIS group and keeps sympathy on their agenda. KnowyourMeme posted a Lizard Sqaud tweet, which reads as "Kuffar don't get to play videogames until bombing on the ISIL stops." The tweet also carries an #ISIS hasgtag.