North Korea, Lizards & Advertising by @Bensfantastic







By Ben Lambert


This will go somewhere I hope.


For those of you that didn’t hear on Christmas Eve PlayStation and Xbox’s online networks where DDOS (Distributed Denial Of Service) attacked.


Although there are many types of DDOS attacks they essentially consist of flooding a network with huge volumes of fake traffic so that it saturates a server causing it to shut down.


Think of it like a post office that can only process a certain number of parcels each day. If 10,000 extra parcels are suddenly delivered to the post office, it overloads their capacity to process the parcels and the system collapses (that’s a fair analogy right?). Either way the end result is the attacked network becomes unavailable to all.


This meant people around the world couldn’t play there newly gifted games and meant I couldn’t get my fill of shooting pixel people. The group behind the hack goes by the charming name of ‘Lizard Squad’ and carried out the attacks with the equally charming goal of ruining Christmas for gamers. Or so it seemed.


Five days after the attacks with both networks back up and running ‘Lizard Squad’ announced that they would be selling their services. The ‘Lizard Stresser’ is a DDOS tool that lets anyone bring down a website of their choice for a fee.


It seems that the group’s goal wasn’t to ruin Christmas, but to advertise their new service. The attacks where incredibly disruptive but did they serve as effective advertising? I think so. ‘Lizard Squad’ went from being completely unknown to being talked about everywhere in the space of 24 hours.


It perhaps takes the idea of predatory thinking a bit too literal, but what it did do was offer the perfect product demonstration to potential customers whilst introducing their brand to the market.


Which leads me into North Korea…


A story we have all heard, North Korea allegedly hacking Sony over the release of the film ‘The Interview’, which features lovable stoners James Franco and Seth Rogan attempting to assassinate Kim Jung-un.


A group going by the name of the ‘Guardians Of Piece’ (GOP) threatened both Sony and Cinemas with terrorist style attacks should the film ever reach an audience. As a result Sony temporally cancelled the release only to release it again online with a limited theatre run.


As with most strange occurrences conspiracy theorists get involved, in this case they suggest that it was all just a great marketing ploy. Personally I’m having none of it, although you couldn’t have ask for more publicity than the film has received. I mean the US government promising retribution has since ‘turned off’ the Internet in North Korea, with a big red switch I like to imagine.


This all just made me wonder what I would have come up with if I had received the brief to advertise the DDOS tool or the film? Tell people how good it is or show people how good it is? Put billboards up or get on Kim Jung-un’s naughty list?


My point echoes what we keep hearing in the studio, the best advertising isn’t advertising


Happy New Year.

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