Two days after a small group of hackers going by the name "Lizard Squad" claimed responsibility for a worldwide Xbox and PlayStation outage, one purported member feels bold enough to give a live interview. "I'd be rather worried if those people didn't have anything better to do than play games on their consoles on Christmas Eve," he says.
The confessional interview, conducted via Skype between the UK's Sky News and a self-professed Lizard Squad member going by "Ryan," is unprecedented—if Ryan is indeed who he says he is. Hackers relish all forms of attention, but keep their identities secret at all costs—putting your face on TV and admitting to a major crime would usually be anathema, and wildly brazen even by nihilistic hacker standards. Not so for "Ryan," who is happy to explain himself all the way from Finland:
"There's the core members [of Lizard Squad], which is about three or four people, who actually perpetrated the attacks...there are various other people involved. This attack was basically done by three people."
"Why we did it? Mostly...to raise awareness...one of the big aspects here is raising awareness regarding the low state of compute security of these companies. They should have more than enough funding to protect against these attacks."
He's not wrong there. The woeful state of online security at Sony has dominated headlines this month, and the company's online PlayStation network has been the victim of hackers in the past.
When asked if he feels guilty, Ryan replies quickly: "I'd be rather worried if [gamers] didn't have anything better to do than play games on their consoles on Christmas Eve an Christmas day. I feel bad... I might have forced a couple kids to spend time with their families instead of playing games."
If Ryan is telling the truth about Lizard Squad's capabilities, despondent gamers might only be the start of the group's campaign:
"We have various networking devices all around the world. Currently, I believe we have access to 100,000 Linux servers. We have massive capability to take down networks like this."
When questioned about the victims of the attack, Ryan laughs gently and replies, "I completely understand that it's a bit unethical."