This Christmas was a frustrating one for a lot of the online gamers who own Xbox and PlayStation consoles, as the two networks were brought down by hackers.
Starting the night before Christmas, some folks started witnessing issues with logging into their Xbox and PlayStation 4 consoles. By Christmas Day, majority of the people were unable to sign in at all. This was likely due to an attack by a hacker group called Lizard Squad.
The group of hackers claimed responsibility for the downed Xbox and PlayStation networks. Since majority of games today are online, this rendered the consoles pretty much useless for gamers across the world. Neither one of the companies have admitted to the source of the problem. Xbox was the first network to go back up before the weekend, but PlayStation still continued with connectivity issues well into Saturday.
The hackers tweeted about taking down Xbox and PlayStation networks during Christmas and said they would stop the attack afterward. They also tweeted that they would stop if they got a certain amount of retweets in an allotted amount of time. But that didn’t happen.
Xbox and PlayStation acknowledged the issues that gamers were having with their systems, tweeting on their accounts and service pages about the service issues they were working on.
The Lizard Squad stated on twitter that it would attack Xbox and PlayStation with a distributed denial of service, also known as DDoS, attack. This floods the servers with bogus Internet traffic, causing them to collapse under pressure.
Xbox Live was first to go back up apparently because it accepted a deal from Kim Dotcom. Kim Dotcom wrote on Twitter on Christmas Day:
“Hi @LizardMafia, I want to play #Destiny on XBOX Live. I’ll give your entire crew Mega lifetime premium vouchers if you let us play. Cool?”
Not too long after, reports were given that Xbox was back online. Lizard Squad wrote the following:
“Thanks @KimDotcom for the vouchers–you’re the reason we stopped the attacks. @MegaPrivacy is an awesome service.”
With this going on behind closed doors, the PlayStation network still didn’t admit that its continued network issues were due to hackers:
“The video game industry has been experiencing high levels of traffic designed to disrupt connectivity and online gameplay. Multiple networks, including PSN, have been affected over the last 48 hours. PSN engineers are working hard to restore full network access and online gameplay as quickly as possible.”
As of Friday, PlayStation network was up, most getting it back no later than Saturday afternoon.