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Posted: August 25, 2014

Hackers target PlayStation servers, threaten Sony exec

Vibrantspirit via Wikimedia Commons
FILE PHOTO

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            Hackers target PlayStation servers, threaten Sony exec
FILE PHOTO

By Matt Picht

Sony became one of the latest victims in a string of high-profile cyber attacks after the PlayStation Network and Sony Online Entertainment were hit by DDoS attacks Sunday.

But it looks like the attackers weren't content with just taking Sony's servers down; they went after a company executive directly.

SOE head John Smedley tweeted Sunday his flight from Dallas to San Francisco had been grounded in Phoenix thanks to a bomb scare. That turned out to be a hoax, of course.

The threat seems to have been from someone operating this Twitter account, which has also been boasting about DDoS attacks on Sony's servers.

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In case you're not familiar, a distributed denial of service or DDoS attack involves overwhelming a server with tons of requests, making it unable to respond to legitimate users. It's a popular tactic used by digital pranksters to attack large companies.

The targets of this particular spree are mostly gamers. In addition to Sony, Riot Games and Blizzard also have suffered attacks.

But the DDoS attacks are particularly painful for Sony, who's still working to rebuild trust with its consumers after a massive 2011 attack on Sony's network compromised 77 million user accounts. The company recently agreed to a $15 million settlement over the breach.

The attackers have signaled that they're shifting focus to Microsoft's Xbox Live next — which is currently experiencing some issues with its social services.

This video contains an image from Getty Images.

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