The Vietnamese site of Google was inaccessible around noon on Monday as a group of hackers called Lizard Squad appeared to have taken over and disrupted the popular search engine service.
Many Internet users in Vietnam said they were unable to go to google.com.vn from 12:30 p.m., with a message on their computer screens saying the site was no longer safe.
Those who chose to bypass the warning and attempt to access the site would see a picture of a man apparently trying to take a selfie and the following message: “Hacked by Lizard Squad, greetz from antichrist, Brian Krebs, sp3c, Komodo, ryan, HTP & Rory Andrew Godfrey (holding it down in Texas)”.
The problem was fixed at 2:30 pm and the site seems to be running as usual.
The Twitter account of the group, @LizardCircle, gained some 500 new followers within those two hours.
Some angry tweets demanded the hackers to back off.
Google Vietnam told Thanh Nien that the company “acknowledged that Google Search’s interface was redirected,” but refused to comment further.
It is uncertain if this Lizard Squad group of hackers is also the one who claimed responsibility for recent high-profile cyber attacks, including the attacks that took down the Sony PlayStation Network and Microsoft’s Xbox Live network last December.
Lizard Squad also claimed that it was behind the January 27 attack that temporarily blocked several major web sites, including Facebook and its photo-sharing app, Instagram.
But Facebook later denied, saying an internal software networking error was to blame.