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Not a Merry Christmas: Xbox Live and PlayStation Network Get Pwned by Lizard Squad

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A group of hackers known for numerous other pranks in the past is claiming responsibility for taking down PlayStation Network (PSN) and Xbox Live on Christmas Day, which means everyone who received a new console for the holidays will have to do something else, such as spend time with their family, for example.

On Twitter, Lizard Squad is taking the credit for bringing the two gaming networks down, saying it will stop launching its denial of service attacks (DDoS) on the two networks once its post gets 2,000 retweets. The tweet has since been deleted, however.

"Get this tweet 2,000 RTs and make sure to follow @iBeZo if you want us NOT to hit XBOX and PSN #offline for the rest of the night! RT," the group said.

Sony and Microsoft have acknowledged the problems on their own networks. PlayStation owners can follow updates on the state of PSN on the PlayStation Knowledge Center. As of 10:35 P.M. Eastern Time, Sony still displays an "offline" status for its network.

"We are aware that some users are experiencing difficulty logging into the PSN," Sony says. "We will update this article with any changes that occur in regards to this issue. Thank you for your patience."

Xbox users have a little bit more hope, with Xbox Live's core services on a "limited" availability. Some users who have the older Xbox 360 have reported that they were able to sign in to the Xbox network, but most are still waiting for Microsoft to patch up the issue.

"Hi Xbox members. Are you having a rough time signing in to Xbox Live? We're working to get this figured out right away," says the Xbox team. "Keep trying to sign in when you get a chance. We're grateful for your patience and we'll be sure to loop you in on our progress in 30 minutes."

Issues with gaming networks typically crop up over the holidays, as several people around the world sign in to the PSN or Xbox Live platform to download updates for their new PlayStation or Xbox consoles.

"Of course, it's safe to say holiday season is always a very busy time of year for any consumer electronics company, so we work hard to ensure the stability of our infrastructure when so many consoles are activating for the first time," says Sean McCarthy, spokesperson for Xbox.

Clearly, that was not the case with both networks not fully equipped with the resources to withstand a simple DDoS attack, one in which the hackers sent deliberately sent massive amounts of traffic to the website to crash its servers.

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