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Hacker group targets Twitch broadcaster, leads to police being called

A hacker group calling itself “DERP” has claimed responsibility for a series of DDoS attacks that briefly took down multiple games and game services, including EA.com, Minecraft, League of Legends, and even the PlayStation Network, according to GameSpot. The outages were brief, no more than 15 minutes in most cases, and all were done in the name of “trolling.” One attack seems to have gotten out of hand though, and led to police being called as part of a prank. 

The hacker group calling itself DERP apparently decided to target the Twitch broadcaster known as “PhantomL0rd,” a gamer that describes himself as a former professional League of Legends player and teacher for the game. He currently boasts more than 350,000 Twitch followers, and over 223,000 “Likes” on his Facebook page. The group called out the broadcaster on Twitter, and soon things got out of hand. By the end of the day, the online attacks had escalated into full blown harassment, leading to the police raiding PhantomL0rd’s house in response to a reported “hostage situation.” 

Just had an automatic pointed at me, put in hand cuffs and sat in the back of a cop car as I watched as 6 policemen go through my whole house.. will keep you all updated,” the broadcaster said on his Facebook page.

Following the police involvement, DERP tweeted that it was not responsible for the prank, and that it would never target an individual user in that fashion. It then went on to claim that it had made peace with the broadcaster. 

It isn’t clear what first turned DERP’s attention to PhantomL0rd, but the common consensus on Reddit is that the group was either asked to target him, or that it wanted to cash in on his popularity. The method of attack the group uses is a “distributed denial of service attack.” DDoS attacks are relatively easy to pull off if you have the bots to do it, and DERP is encouraging people to send it requests.

The group itself operates on Twitter under the tag “DerpTrolling,” and lists a phone number you can call or text requests to. On New Year’s Eve, the site claimed that it had received over 1,000 texts and 3,000 calls. A recent request from a follower to take down PlanetSide 2 was accepted, but then accidentally caused the PlayStation Network to briefly shutdown.

“#PSN #DCUO #Offline by unintentional means. IT WAS ONLY SUPPOSED TO BE PLANETSIDE 2,” it tweeted.

The group’s Twitter feed also claims that they are on the run from police stating, “feds seized the last few machines and now we’re on the run.”

Over the last week several gaming sites and services have reported similar attacks. Several groups have claimed responsibility, but it hasn’t been confirmed who is responsible. When Blizzard’s Battle.net was attacked and briefly went down, DERP took credit for it. Another group then attacked the ste later, prompting DERP to issue a congratulations. Likewise, it congratulated whoever was attacking Steam on New Year’s Day.