Hacked? Xbox and Playstation networks go down for Christmas

Dec 25, 2014 5:24 PM by NBC News

Thousands of people reported Christmas Day problems on the Xbox Live and Playstation gaming networks, as a band of hackers took gleeful credit.

The networks, which allow users of the popular consoles to play the video games with a wider online community, first crashed on Wednesday evening and the problems persisted into Christmas Day, enraging many users - but especially those powering-up new machines from Santa Claus.

A hacker group called "Lizard Squad" claimed responsibility, saying on Twitter that it toppled both networks with so-called distributed denial of service attacks. The tactic involves overwhelming Sony and Microsoft's servers with unexpected - and bogus - user traffic.

"Jingle bells jingle bells xbox got ran," the group wrote on Twitter Thursday, adding a similar line about Sony. "oh my fun it is to troll of you morons ... hey!"

Xbox and Playstation responded Thursday saying they were working on the problems and investigating.

"Having a tough time signing in?" read a service alert on the Xbox support page. "Don't worry! We're working to fix this right away!"

"We are aware that some users are reporting issues accessing PSN this morning," read a Tweet from the official Playstation support account on Thursday. "Thanks for your patience as we investigate."

Playstation is owned by Sony, the same company that released "The Interview" on Thursday. The movie, about a fictional attempt to kill North Korean Leader Kim Jong un, sparked controversy after hackers - with ties to North Korea, according to the FBI - broke into the company's servers and released a trove of information.

Xbox is owned by Microsoft, one of the companies which agreed the stream the film despite threats of a 9/11-style attack by the original hackers. So far there are no indications that the two hacks are related.


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