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PlayStation Network Remains Down After Christmas Attack, Xbox Having Issues

A hacker group has claimed responsibility for disabling the services.

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Xbox Live and PlayStation Network — online game delivery platforms operated by Microsoft and Sony — were out of service for most of Christmas Day, just as people were receiving the systems as gifts.

By late Friday, PlayStation was still down. Xbox came back online, but some functions were sill not working, according to the Associated Press.

Our engineers are continuing to work hard to resolve the network issues users have experienced today. Thanks for your continued patience!

Ask PlayStation@AskPlayStationFollow

Our engineers are continuing to work hard to resolve the network issues users have experienced today. Thanks for your continued patience!

2:33 AM - 26 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

The problems started as early as Wednesday, and both companies acknowledged on Thursday that their services were having issues.

We're aware that some users are having issues logging into PSN - engineers are investigating

PlayStation@PlayStationFollow

We're aware that some users are having issues logging into PSN - engineers are investigating

9:51 AM - 25 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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)@XboxSupportFollow

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

9:41 AM - 25 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

A hacking group that goes by the name Lizard Squad has taken credit for disabling the services.

The group claimed it downed both networks with denial of service attacks, meaning that they overwhelmed Sony and Microsoft's servers with traffic.

Lizard Squad took credit in August for other attacks on the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live, Variety reported.

At the beginning of the month, the group said it would carry out an attack on Christmas, calling themselves "next generation Grinch." The Lizard Squad Twitter account was disabled around 7:15 p.m. ET on Thursday.

Microsoft and Sony have not yet responded to the hackers' claim.

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File

Attendees at the Penny Arcade Expo, a fan-centric celebration of gaming in Seattle, walk past adjoining displays from gaming giants Sony PlayStation and Microsoft's Xbox One.

Sony is still struggling to recover from a major hack to its Sony Pictures subsidiary, which U.S. officials said was caused by North Korea in retaliation for the Sony film The Interview. Sony originally decided not to screen the film, but at the last minute changed its mind, releasing it to select cinemas and online streaming services, including Xbox Live.

The timing is also particularly bad for both companies, with Christmas Day a popular time for people to use the services on their day off or play with newly-gifted PlayStations and Xboxes.

Many people shared their disappointment on Twitter:

The hackers who stole xmas. #Xboxlive is down for the count. http://t.co/p5Euxrkp90

Barry Morgan@BMorgantheGreatFollow

The hackers who stole xmas. #Xboxlive is down for the count. http://t.co/p5Euxrkp90

6:03 PM - 25 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

I’m all about Righteous Hacks, but taking down PSN/XBox Live is killing Xmas for the kids #HaveAHeartGuys

Matt Lambourne@Matt_LambourneFollow

I’m all about Righteous Hacks, but taking down PSN/XBox Live is killing Xmas for the kids #HaveAHeartGuys

1:28 PM - 25 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

So Xmas night, saw family, eat good food but because PSN is still down I have to talk to my husband Not cool at all

Heather @ToucheretteFollow

So Xmas night, saw family, eat good food but because PSN is still down I have to talk to my husband

Not cool at all

2:10 PM - 25 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Sony bit the big one for Xmas. PSN has been down all day and Destiny won’t even load without it. New PS4 is useless so far.

Derek Atlansky@datlanFollow

Sony bit the big one for Xmas. PSN has been down all day and Destiny won’t even load without it. New PS4 is useless so far.

11:57 AM - 25 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

When u get a ps4 for Xmas but #psn is down 😥😥😥 @TheGamer2323 @MrAbelGreen lol

Wrek@King_wrekFollow

When u get a ps4 for Xmas but #psn is down @TheGamer2323 @MrAbelGreen lol

1:03 PM - 25 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

However, some disappointed players did display a touch of self-awareness.

At the risk of ending up on a BuzzFeed list of spoilt people, XBox Live being down is really dampening my Xmas spirit.

Helen Lewis@helenlewisFollow

At the risk of ending up on a BuzzFeed list of spoilt people, XBox Live being down is really dampening my Xmas spirit.

4:36 PM - 25 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

On Friday, the hackers sent a tweet to say they've moved on to a new target.

To clarify, we are no longer attacking PSN or Xbox. We are testing our new Tor 0day.

Lizard Squad@LizardMafiaFollow

To clarify, we are no longer attacking PSN or Xbox. We are testing our new Tor 0day.

12:05 PM - 26 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Lizard Squad said they will now target Tor, a network that helps users stay anonymous online.

While Tor is not a widely used as Xbox and PlayStation, it is used by a various people who wish to remain anonymous online, including whistleblowers. Tor prevents people from learning a user's location and browsing happens, according to its website.

Tor is able to keep users anonymous by routing activity around a large network of computers known as 'nodes.'

According to Nadim Kobeissi, a computer programmer, Lizard Squad has claimed almost half of Tor's relays.

Calls to Tor were not immediately returned.

There's a total of ~8,000 Tor relays - @LizardMafia now owns almost half of them. Big implications on Tor anonymity. https://t.co/6RhTLqDS2p

Nadim Kobeissi @kaeporaFollow

There's a total of ~8,000 Tor relays - @LizardMafia now owns almost half of them. Big implications on Tor anonymity. https://t.co/6RhTLqDS2p

12:17 PM - 26 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Michelle Broder Van Dyke is a reporter and night editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Hawaii.

Contact Michelle Broder Van Dyke at michelle@buzzfeed.com.

Mary Ann Georgantopoulos is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Mary Ann Georgantopoulos at maryann.georgantopoulos@buzzfeed.com.

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