Flight grounded after Sony hackers tweet about 'explosives on plane'

The twitter user LizardSquad appears to have made the threat because a Sony executive was on board

Getty / Rex

Threat: A plane was grounded after a bomb threat tweet from hackers

A flight was grounded after hackers who took down the Sony Playstation Network tweeted about explosives onboard.

The plane appears to have been specifically targeted because a Sony executive was on board, just hours after the same company's Playstation network (PSN) was made unavailable to its tens of millions of users.

American Airlines flight 362 was supposed to fly from Dallas, Texas, to San Diego, California on Sunday.

But then Twitter user Lizard Squad - who has taken credit for the PSN hacking - posted a message to the airline saying they had been told explosives were onboard.

.@AmericanAir We have been receiving reports that @j_smedley's plane #362 from DFW to SAN has explosives on-board, please look into this.

- Lizard Squad (@LizardSquad) August 24, 2014

Lizard Squad specifically mentioned John Smedley in the tweet, who is president of Sony Online Entertainment.

That followed an earlier tweet from a game player's forum telling the airline: 'I'm gonna send a bomb on your plane be ready for me tomorrow.'

The authorities clearly took the threat seriously, grounding the flight and then diverting it. There were reportedly 179 passengers and six crew members aboard to the plane.

FBI spokesman Joshua Campbell said that the bureau was investigating the threat against American Airlines Flight 362, which was traveling from Dallas to San Diego.

It was diverted to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, then continued on to San Diego, he said. Mr Smedley commented on the disruption and the alleged hackers on his own Twitter profile.

Yes. My plane was diverted. Not going to discuss more than that. Justice will find these guys.

- John Smedley (@j_smedley) August 24, 2014

Meanwhile Lizard Squard continued to mock the FBIs efforts to catch the hackers, using the hashtag prayforflight362 and even making reference to the Middle Eastern terrorists ISIS.

My name is Brian Willson, I'm from Las Vegas NV. You think I'm scared of the FBI?

- Lizard Squad (@LizardSquad) August 24, 2014

The PlayStation Network and Sony Entertainment Network was back up on Monday after it was taken down on Sunday.

Hackers had overwhelmed the network with artificial traffic, preventing users from streaming Netflix movies or playing multiplayer games online.

On its Twitter feed, Sunday, Lizard Squad posted that it was 'preaching' that Sony should be spending more money to protect its customers' accounts from such hacks.

#flight362 http://ift.tt/1qGrLYv

- Ashley Cain (@AshleyCain22) August 24, 2014

It tweeted: 'Sony, yet another large company, but they aren't spending the waves of cash they obtain on their customers' PSN service. End the greed.'

The Lizard Squad also spent the weekend attacking other gaming servers like Blizzard Entertainment's Battle.net, Riot Games' League of Legends, and Grinding Gear Games' Path of Exile.


Shut Down: Sony gamers were left without online player after the Playstation network was hacked

In 2011, hacker group Lulzsec attacked the same PSN network, exposing the personal information, including passwords and credit card data, of 77 million accounts. It took Sony 24 days to fix the problem, and spent $15 million to settle a class action lawsuit.

Sony execs are sure to be double checking any security holes that need to be plugged in its system after Sunday's event.


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