#RIPDiscord: Why was Discord down? Why does the Internet think Lizard Squad is behind the DDoS attacks?
With the ongoing global pandemic, virtual interactions and communications have skyrocketed. And, in that scenario if there is any glitch that affects smooth online communication, it sure is not going to go down well with netizens. That’s exactly what happened when Discord — an instant messaging and VoIP application and digital distribution platform which helps in communication between users in a chat channel — was down on Friday, July 17.
The popular chat service experienced server outages which started at around 5 pm ET and lasted for about an hour. Other websites such as Patreon, Deliveroo, GitLab, Zendesk and Medium among others were affected as well. Even Cloudflare acknowledged that their network was affected. Discord addressed the issue on Twitter and said, “Users are currently having trouble disconnecting to Discord due to an upstream internet issue. We've got all engineers on deck investigating the issue."
Discord had faced similar connectivity issues in March as well. In the past few months, since people are indoors, Discord and other web-based communications services have seen a significant increase in demand and usage, as everyone is turning to these apps to stay in touch with one another.
The gaming community especially seemed to affected by it the most. One user said, “When will Discord come back from the war? What am I supposed to do now, work?” Another said, “Discord is down, Cloudfare is down, Shopify is down, and like 50 of the most famous people got hacked yesterday... 2020 different." The heavy dependence on technology was also visible when the Internet expressed that they were lost without these services.
A tweet read: "So now I'm stuck in an apt with my bf and no discord to keep me occupied. He still pissed off about something." Another user said, “When you just wanna get back to playing Minecraft with the homies but the whole internet is in flames." This also led to widespread circulation of memes making fun of the situation.
However, the internet also claimed to have found the culprit — Lizard squad. It is a hacker group known for their claims of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks primarily to disrupt gaming-related services. In 2014, the group had announced that they disbanded although in November last year, they took responsibility for the cyber-attacks on UK’s Labor Party.
An unverified Twitter account – LizardSquad (@GlockWorkGTR) – tweeted “#LizardSquad IS BACK AND WE WILL BE SHUTTING DOWN ALL SERVERS SOON, DON'T PLAY WITH US #DDOS WE ALSO HAVE PROOF DISCORD IS OWNED BY FURRIES #STOPFURRIES #kpopisoverparty." The internet exploded immediately. While some made light of the situation by tweeting, “Cloudflare was getting ddosed by lizard squad most websites are run and affiliated with cloudflare therefore they are being shut down." Another tweet read: "Sharks attacking the internet. What's next 2020 lol."
However, there were far more angry reactions to the situation. An irate user posted a video saying he’s going to catch them because they messed with his game. A user wrote, "Almost every website is down this means lizard squad is at it again.” Another said, “Lizard Squad is attacking online servers all over the place right now.”