Hackers hit Sony and Microsoft Xbox console

The online gaming networks
for Sony’s PlayStation and Microsoft’s Xbox consoles — hot gifts this
Christmas — went dark in what hackers said was a coordinated attack.
The disruption started
Christmas Day and went into Friday, PlayStation and Xbox said on their
Twitter feeds, adding that they were working to restore service.

A subsequent message posted
to the Xbox status page early Friday upgraded service to “limited” — a
sign that support teams were making inroads in fixing the problem.
A new Twitter user going by the name “Lizard Squad” took credit for the disruption, claiming it had the “nation on strings.”
The name is the same used by a
group of hackers that has targeted Sony in the past, though it was not
possible to verify the Twitter account’s authenticity. The account did
not return request for comment and only became active Wednesday.
Sony this month was hit by a
sophisticated hacking attack that stole massive amounts of data from its
servers. The US has blamed North Korea for the attack, with the hermit
state seen as furious at the release of a Sony movie comedy, “The
Interview”, which parodies leader Kim Jong-Un.
After initially canceling the
December 25 release of “The Interview”, Sony backtracked and brought it
out in a few US theaters and made it available online — including
through the Xbox console and, soon, the PlayStation.
Sony’s @PlayStation Twitter
account said Friday: “We’re aware that some users are having issues
logging into PSN – engineers are investigating.”
Its @AskPlayStation Twitter
account wrote early Friday, a day after the difficulties began: “Our
engineers are continuing to work hard to resolve the network issues
users have experienced today. Thanks for your continued patience!”
Meanwhile, Microsoft on a site for its Xbox customers pleaded with its game fans to be patient.
“We’re aware of this issue, and
we’re working to find a fix ASAP! We appreciate your patience in the
meantime, and we encourage you to retry signing in when you get a
chance. We’ll update you as soon as we know more,” the message said.
While a direct connection
between “The Interview” and the service disruptions could not be
confirmed, some gamers were convinced a link exists.
“I blame that darn movie ‘The Interview’,” wrote as2009man on a PlayStation community forum message board.
“It’s the gift that keeps on giving,” he said.
Another poster to the same
forum said he was getting fed up with the game world’s vulnerability to
repeated denial of service (DDoS) attacks.
“A DDos attack is like a semi
(truck) driver intentionally jackknifing his rig on a busy interstate
and shutting down traffic for a few hours,” said one gamer, who wrote
under the name “shadoefax.”
Game users also took to Twitter to vent their frustration.

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