PlayStation, Xbox Disruptions Continue

Hacking Group Claims Responsibility for Attack
PlayStation, Xbox Disruptions Continue

The Christmas Day disruptions of Sony's PlayStation store and Microsoft's Xbox Live network continue into a second day, with a hacking group known as Lizard Squad on Twitter claiming responsibility for the attacks.

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Sony and Microsoft are telling customers, including first timers who received the gaming wares as Christmas presents, that they are aware of disruptions in their gaming networks, but neither company describes what's causing the blockage of traffic.

On a PlayStation support website, Sony on the afternoon of Dec 26 continued posting a message telling customers: "We are aware that some users are experiencing difficulty logging into the PSN. We will update this article with any changes that occur in regards to this issue. Thank you for your patience." On Christmas Day, Sony's PlayStation account tweeted: "We're aware that some users are having issues logging into PSN - engineers are investigating."

Similarly, the Xbox support website on midafternoon Dec. 26 said that Xbox is having limited service. "Are you having a tough time launching the IGN application?" the notice asks. "We're aware of the issue, and we're working to provide a fix ASAP! Thanks for staying patient in the meantime. We'll fill you in as soon as we know more."

According to the Financial Times, Xbox said at 5:30 a.m. EST on Dec. 26 that its "core service" had returned to normal, restoring the majority of services for customers.

Lizard Squad in repeated Twitter posts claims it would restore service if it received a certain number retweets with a specific amount of time. One tweet posted Christmas night said, "2500 RETWEETS IN LESS THEN (sic) 3 HOURS AND I'LL TURN THE SERVERS BACK ON. #LizardSqad." By midmorning EST, that posting had 943 retweets.

Attempts to reach Sony and Microsoft media representatives were unsuccessful.

Lizard Squad took credit for disruption of the PlayStation network in August (see DDoS Gang Targets Sony). Earlier this month, Sony acknowledged outages on its PlayStation sites (see Sony Suffers Further Attacks).

The latest disruptions in the gaming networks come weeks after hackers, which the U.S. government identified as the North Korean government, breached the computers at Sony Pictures Entertainment, causing Sony to first cancel and then restore the Christmas Day premier of the motion picture "The Interview," a comedy depicting the assassination of the North Korean leader.

About the Author

Eric Chabrow

Eric Chabrow

Retired Executive Editor, GovInfoSecurity

Chabrow, who retired at the end of 2017, hosted and produced the semi-weekly podcast ISMG Security Report and oversaw ISMG's GovInfoSecurity and InfoRiskToday. He's a veteran multimedia journalist who has covered information technology, government and business.

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