The official website of Malaysia Airlines was hacked Monday by a group claiming to be from the “Lizard Squad,” which has previously taken credit for past denial-of-service attacks, including the takedown of the Xbox Live and Sony Playstation Network last month. The website’s main page was replaced with an image of the group’s logo, a tuxedo-wearing lizard in a top hat and monocle, along with the message “Hacked by LIZARD SQUAD - OFFICIAL CYBER CALIPHATE,” the Guardian reported.
The hacked website also displayed a message reading “404 - Plane Not Found,” in apparent reference to the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared in March. The browser tab for the website was changed to read “ISIS will prevail,” a reference to the Islamic State militant group in Syria and Iraq, NBC said. The company was able to bring down the website by mid-afternoon in Malaysia after it was down for at least seven hours as a result of the hack.
Despite the references to ISIS and Cyber Caliphate, the hacker group that claims to be associated with the militant organization, it is not clear whether Lizard Squad is actually linked to either group. Lizard Squad’s previous targets have included EA games, Destiny and other gaming-related targets.
After the December hack of Xbox Live, a hacker claiming to be a member of the group, calling himself “Member Two,” went public and said that the group’s motive was to demonstrate weaknesses in the Microsoft and Sony systems, according to the BBC. "It's just such a huge company Microsoft ... Do you not think they should be able to prevent such an attack?" the 22-year-old said. Following the high-profile hack, the group said they would no longer be focusing on the gaming networks, instead shifting their focus to the Tor Project, the anonymous communications service.
The group typically leaves their signature on the sites they have taken responsibility for hacking. The majority of their online activity outside of hacking comes from their Twitter account. Lizard Squad tweeted Monday that they had taken material from Malaysia Airlines’ servers and shared a screenshot of an inbox with passenger itineraries. The airline issued a statement saying that the hack was a “temporary glitch” and that user data “remains secured.”