On Christmas morning excited gamers all across the country were unwrapping their new PlayStation 4s and Xboxes and getting ready to take their virtual adventures online.
Unfortunately, their excitement was quickly turned to disappointment when it was revealed that both the Xbox Live and PlayStation Network online services were experiencing outages at the hands of hackers.
PlayStation sent a tweet out to their disappointed followers explaining that they were aware of the outage and working quickly to resolve the issue.
“We’re aware that some users are having issues logging into PSN—engineers are investigating,” the tweet said.
Currently, Sony’s PlayStation Network is still offline but Microsoft’s Xbox Live has managed to recover.
To be clear, neither of the gaming giants have confirmed what caused the outages, but reports are pointing to a group of hackers identifying itself as Lizard Squad.
The group of self-proclaimed hackers did not actually manage to “hack” either of the gaming giants but instead have managed to launch a massive distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack.
This simply stops would-be online gamers from logging on the networks but does not pose a serious threat to gamers or the companies.
Many people are also questioning the validity of the claims by Lizard Squad that they are truly the ones behind the outages.
The group has been adamant about getting recognition and even asked for gifts cards from Kim Dotcom, the founder of Megaupload.
It has not been confirmed if Dotcom complied with their wishes but the group did recently send out a tweet supporting Megaupload and Dotcom’s latest business ventures.
During an interview with WinBeta through an encrypted connection, Lizard Squad claimed that they started hacking the systems simply “for the laughs” but eventually realized they had a major opportunity on their hands.
Despite asking for gift cards from Dotcom, the group claimed the real purpose of the widespread outages was to force “these companies to upgrade the security on their networks,” Business Insider reported.
The group also claimed they had the ability to “take down NASDAQ if they wanted to damage the economy,” but said they simply weren’t interested in doing so.
While the outages came as an unfortunate surprise to many gamers, people who follow the group on social media weren’t so surprised.
Lizard Squad warned that they would take down the online networks over the holidays and they clearly followed through with the promise.
The group announced that they halted the cyber attacks, but as Sony struggles to get their services back up and running many believe it could simply be complications from the sheer amount of new users over the holiday season.
Either way, it’s a rough end of the year for Sony which was recently hacked as it prepared to release The Interview to theaters across the country.
The new comedy about a plot to take out North Korea’s Kim Jong Un sparked threats of violent attacks and led to many emails from Sony executives being released to the public.
It was never confirmed if North Korea was truly behind the massive hack but the very idea of it encouraged movie goers to rush to independent theaters to see the film—not only for entertainment, but as a proclaimed stance against terrorism.