DDoS, Freedom Hacker

Christmas Catastrophe: PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Taken Offline by Lizard Squad Hackers

Christmas day arrived for many around the world, also included in that bunch was hackers, this Christmas day hackers met the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live service with a 404 not found service outage, leaving millions offline and unable to play online games Christmas day.

Critically acclaimed hackers known as Lizard Squad have claimed responsibility for the massive Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks launched Christmas eve night. The massive attacks hit both service providers hard, knocking the servers for both gaming engines offline nearly all of Christmas day.

The attack is no surprise as Lizard Squad made previous promises to take the networks offline this holiday season on a Twitter account that has since been ban.

In a series of tweets that have since been deleted by the group, the group wrote “#PSN OFFLINE” on their latest and yet-suspended Twitter account. In another tweet sent mid-day the group appeared to be having a happy holidays tormenting gamers writing, “150RTS if you PSN #Online.”

Sony did in fact confirm the rolling outages of their service on their official Twitter support for PlayStation-based products writing:

We are aware that there have been issues reported with PSN. Thanks for your patience as we investigate.

— Ask PlayStation (@AskPlayStation) December 24, 2014

Sony’s PlayStation support Twitter kept angry gamers at bay updating them throughout the day about the status of the service writing:

Update: We are seeing reduced reports of network issues. We’ll continue to monitor – thanks for your patience and happy holidays!

— Ask PlayStation (@AskPlayStation) December 25, 2014

We are aware that some users are reporting issues accessing PSN this morning. Thanks for your patience as we investigate.

— Ask PlayStation (@AskPlayStation) December 25, 2014

We are still looking into the PSN issues reported earlier. Thanks again for your continued patience today.

— Ask PlayStation (@AskPlayStation) December 25, 2014

The company Twitter has confirmed the PlayStation network is still offline as of the time of writing this article, nearing the end of Christmas day. The company has noted there is no time frame for when the problem may be fixed, meaning no solution appears in sight.

Microsoft too noted their network outage, leaving a link to their site where users can keep updated on the network status:

We’re aware users are having issues logging into XBL & are actively working to resolve. Please visit http://t.co/99xfLNN0o8 for updates ^JX

— Xbox Support (1-5) (@XboxSupport) December 25, 2014

Sony and Microsoft are no stranger to Lizard Squad, the group capable of launching almost enterprise-style DDoS attacks capable of knocking some of the top web services offline. While Lizard Squad continues to scale their operations appearing uninterrupted, pro gamer hacking crew known as, The Finest Squad, have taken it upon themselves to restore the companies services and expose Lizard Squad crew members. The Finest Squad has allegedly exposed several Lizard Squad members identities online and were scanning the gaming servers networks upon arrival of Lizard Squads attacks. The group wrote on Twitter that they were preparing for the attacks early Christmas day:

We are constantly scanning and getting our servers prepared for anything. We are doing our best to help @PlayStation @Xbox

— The Finest (@FinestSquad) December 25, 2014

The group has allegedly compiled a number of Lizard Squad members identities posting them online at lizardsquad[dot]info, and have sent the following information to the United States FBI. Shortly after the list went live a Lizard Squad Twitter handle noted:

Going dark, goodbye for now.

— Lizard Squad (@LizardMafia) December 26, 2014

If the Finest Squad had anything to do with the members going dark remains unknown, but the crew has since written their response to the Lizard Squad members action.

As Sony writes that the service is offline The Finest Squad continues to claim the PlayStation network and Xbox Live networks are online and gamers should expect a full restore within 30 minutes to an hour.

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