As if we didn’t have enough Sturm und Drang on this planet the past few days, the world is now nursing a brand new set of wounds:
Pokemon Go got hacked over the weekend.
The fabulously popular augmented-reality game that has sent millions of mobile-phone-carrying zealots into the streets and bumping into one another across the globe suffered a major hit on Saturday when users in the U.S. and Europe discovered they could not access the game or that it was freezing up. Reports in The Independent and elsewhere said a cyber-hacking group known as PoodleCorp had claimed responsibility on Twitter for taking down Pokémon Go servers using a DDoS (or denial-of-service) attack, though the claim was not immediately verified:
The account also retweeted a post by a user claiming to be the leader of PoodleCorp. “Just was a lil test, we will do something on a larger scale soon,” said the post by user XO.
According to Gearnuke, the same collective has lately gone after high-profile users on YouTube. And in another apparent assault on Pokemon Go gamers, TechCrunch said that a hacking team dubbed OurMine spent several hours over the weekend going after Pokemon Go’s login servers with a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, leaving some players frustrated and unable to log in to the game.
The group said it would not stop the attack until representatives from Pokemon Go contacted them. In a post on its website, the group wrote: “No one will be able to play this game till Pokemon Go contact us on our website to teach them how to protect it!”
OurMine has garnered fame of late in the hacker community, launching attacks against the Twitter accounts of some of Silicon Valley’s top tech figures, including the accounts of Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey, breaking into their linked accounts (Pichai’s Quora and Dorsey’s Vine) and then hijacking those accounts to start posting on Twitter.
TechCrunch reported that an OurMine member said “that he or she is part of a three-person group of teenagers and that the team is trying to spread the word about security. Whether they’re hacking Twitter accounts or DDoSing Pokemon Go, the group insists that it’s just promoting stronger security and that, if it didn’t hack celebs and DDoS popular games, someone else would.”
In other words, making the cyber world safer, one embarrassing and annoying hack at a time.
As the OurMine member told TechCrunch: “We don’t want other hackers to attack their servers, so we should protect their servers.”
Talk about pretzel logic.
Illustration from KRT archives
Tags: Google, hacker, Jack Dorsey, Pokemon Go, Quora, twitter, Vine