If any of you happen to play on Playstation 4 and/or are fans of GTA Online, chances are you experienced some downtime on these services recently. Both the PSN and Rockstar's servers went down a few days ago (naturally, both a necessary for playing the game on PS3 and PS4) in spite of no maintenance being scheduled. The two services did synchronize their downtimes in the past, however it wasn't the case this time around.
With no official word on the servers going offline, players were understandably irritated. The services were restored soon enough, but neither company released any official statement on the hickup. Well, get ready for more unexplained disconnects, as the culprits are planning further "attacks".
A hacker group known as PoodleCorp have publicly claimed to have caused the unannounced downtime on both services. While those people who don't read up on or don't care about hacking only know about Anonymous, PoodleCorp is pretty well known in hacking circles. Like most other hacker collectives, they don't have some kind of moral justification backing them - they're just messing with people's stuff for the "fun" of it.
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The group claims that they launched DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks on both the PSN and the Rockstar Social Club as some kind of test. The group's Twitter account also said that these were small compared to the attacks they have planned in the future.
The PSN has been a popular target for hackers. A hack that stole credit card info from the service made headlines some time ago, costing Sony greatly. GTA Online, on the other hand, hasn't often been hacked in such a way as to make the service unavailable for whatever reason. Games with this level of popularity are often preferred targets.
While the GTA Online servers weren't "down" per se, the status page did show access to be limited and many players took to Twitter, asking Rockstar Support what was up. The support account always replied that they're working on fixing the issue, which they managed to do pretty swiftly.
PoodleCorp has also taken responsibility for hacking the server of Blizzard Entertainment and Riot Games before their GTA Online and PSN attack. Many Blizzard games suffered from the attack, since all of the newer ones require a constant internet connection. League of Legends, the insanely popular MOBA from Riot was also inaccessible at the time.
Previously, PoodleCorp mostly stuck to hacking popular YouTubers either for contrived reasons or no reason at all. What prompted their jump to taking down large profile gaming services is unclear, as is how a group whose skills were recently capped at changing the titles of videos suddenly become capable of pulling things like this off.
It isn't clear based on the group's Tweets whether or not their planned larger attacks in the near future also include GTA Online as a target, or only the Playstation Network. We guess time will tell, however chances are both Sony and Rockstar are preparing for such attacks.
Did you experience any downtime in GTA Online during the past few days?