Hackers threaten to take Pokemon Go offline

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Hackers Take Down 'Pokemon Go'

Poodlecorp (yes, you read that right) has threatened to take the über popular augmented reality game Pokémon Go offline August 1 through a series of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on the game's already fragile servers.

"We take the servers offline because it is popular right now and nobody can stop us," @xotehpoodle (a member of the Poodlecorp group) said. "We do it because we can, nobody can stop us and we just like to cause chaos. We chose August 1 so we have time to relax and not care about doing anything."

The group plans to take the servers down for 20-plus hours — "basically an entire day" — using the same method they've used on other attacks Poodlecorp has laid claim to — a massive botnet consisting of 600,000 devices ranging from DVRs to dedicated servers.

Aside from the attack that caused server issues for the game last Saturday, Poodlecorp has also claimed responsibility for hacking various YouTubers and the League of Legends servers using the botnet — a tool xotehpoodle claims is worth more than Niantic Labs, the developers behind Pokémon Go.

People playing Pokemon Go:

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People playing Pokemon Go
Nintendo Co.'s Pokemon Go is displayed on a smartphone in Tokyo, Japan, on Tuesday, July 12, 2016. Pokemon Go debuted last week on iPhones and Android devices in the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand, letting players track down virtual characters in real locations using their smartphones. Nintendo is an investor in Niantic Inc., the games developer. Photographer: Akio Kon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
PORTLAND, ME - JULY 11: Monument Square, Portland, was a hotspot of activity for the Pokemon Go 'augmented reality' game Monday evening. From left, Shellbe Flynn, Jordan Regios (mostly hidden) and Elizabeth Hook. (Photo by Michele McDonald/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - JULY 11: Mary Baker, 18, plays the mobile game Pokemon Go as she walks through the Public Garden in Boston, Mass., July 11, 2016. (Photo by Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
PORTLAND, ME - JULY 11: Kaelyn Kespert, 10, of Scarborough, plays Pokemon Go at Deering Oaks Park. (Photo by Brianna Soukup/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 11: Medical student Jag Chilana plays Pokemon Go on his smartphone at Union Square, July 11, 2016 in New York City. The success of Nintendo's new smartphone game, Pokemon Go, has sent shares of Nintendo soaring. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
David Melendez (C) uses three phones as he plays the augmented reality mobile game "Pokemon Go" by Nintendo in New York City, U.S. July 11, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich
Theodore Belizaire plays the augmented reality mobile game "Pokemon Go" by Nintendo in Times Square, New York City, U.S. July 11, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich
Jerimie Nason (C) plays the augmented reality mobile game "Pokemon Go" by Nintendo as people pass him on the street outside Grand Central Terminal in New York City, U.S. July 11, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich
A virtual map of Bryant Park is displayed on the screen as a man plays the augmented reality mobile game "Pokemon Go" by Nintendo in New York City, U.S. July 11, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich
Theodore Belizaire plays the augmented reality mobile game "Pokemon Go" by Nintendo in Times Square, New York City, U.S. July 11, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich
The augmented reality mobile game "Pokemon Go" by Nintendo is shown on a smartphone screen in this photo illustration taken in Palm Springs, California U.S. July 11, 2016. REUTERS/Sam Mircovich/Illustration
Leo Mesquita (R) and Jean Suplicy (2nd R) play the augmented reality mobile game "Pokemon Go" by Nintendo as they walk away from the Chrysler Building in New York City, U.S. July 11, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich
Theodore Belizaire pumps his fist after catching a Pokemon in the augmented reality mobile game "Pokemon Go" by Nintendo in Times Square, New York City, U.S. July 11, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich
Pokemon Go is displayed on a cell phone in Los Angeles on Friday, July 8, 2016. Just days after being made available in the U.S., the mobile game Pokemon Go has jumped to become the top-grossing app in the App Store. And players have reported wiping out in a variety of ways as they wander the real world, eyes glued to their smartphone screens, in search of digital monsters. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
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Poodlecorp, of course, isn't the first group of hackers that have made big claims and then failed to follow through, but xotehpoodle warns that this time it's different, "because we made a promise."

Why they'd want to take down servers for a game that has brought joy to millions around the world is beyond me, but in the digital world, I guess "because we can" is a good enough reason.

Mark your calendars, Pokémon trainers.

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