A poster for The Interview.
Photograph by Robyn Beck — AFP/Getty Images
By Geoffrey Smith
January 27, 2015

Hacking group Lizard Squad said Tuesday it was responsible for an outage that took down a handful of major social networks including Facebook, Instagram and Tinder overnight.

If confirmed, it would be the latest eye-catching hack by a group that came to prominence last year by its repeated Distributed Denial of Service attacks on networked computer games. The group also claimed to have made a successful attack on the Internet in North Korea in December, in what appeared to be a retaliation for the allegedly North Korean-ordered hack of Sony Pictures to stop it releasing “The Interview”, a comedy about a plot to assassinate President Kim Jong-Il.

However, Facebook later denied it had been hacked, telling the Wall Street Journal that the outage was due to a “change that affected our configurations systems.”

Facebook and Tinder users suffered an outage of just under an hour, while Instagram users were complaining on Twitter (which was unaffected) about an outage for over two hours.

At the time of writing, other networks such as Instagram and the business-focused service Hipchat were still suffering at least partial outages.

 

At the weekend, the group had claimed responsibility for hacking the website of Malaysia Airlines, as people trying to use the company’s site were directed to a picture of a lizard in a top hat and tuxedo with the caption “404 – Plane Not Found”, a reference to flight MH370 that disappeared without trace a year ago. The group’s Twitter account later promised to “dump some loot” it had retrieved from Malaysia Airlines’ servers. The airline insisted Monday that its customers’ data were safe, but the Lizard Squad Twitter account denied that Tuesday.

 

 

UPDATE: This article has been updated to include Facebook’s denial that it had been hacked.

 

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