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Finally! PlayStation Network Back Online After Three-Day Outage

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Good news, gamers! The PlayStation Network is back up and operational after DDoS attacks on the service resulted in a three-day outage.

However, Sony, the company behind PlayStation Network, is warning customers that their servers are still receiving heavy traffic and that could disrupt some gameplay.

For most, however, the network came back up yesterday, meaning those users who received PS4's for Christmas were finally able to update and get their consoles online. And those looking to spend the holidays playing Destiny could finally connect and enjoy some serious game time.

The network went down on Christmas Day after a series of DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks. The attacks are assumed to be the work of a group called Lizard Squad. Although some called the incident a hacking, the attack on the PlayStation Network was something far more simple: a DDos attack happens when a server gets hit with an overwhelming number of external communications requests and messages, which causes the server to overload. Basically, this disrupts communications from the target computer, essentially shutting down the service it offers, in this case, the PlayStation Network.

"PlayStation Network and some other gaming services were attacked over the holidays with artificially high levels of traffic designed to disrupt connectivity and online gameplay," writes Catherine Jensen, Vice President of Consumer Experience at Sony Computer Entertainment. "This may have prevented your access to the network and its services over the last few days."

The DDoS'ers also targeted Microsoft's XBox Live, but that service also eventually recovered from the attack.

The group called Lizard Squad claimed responsibility for the attacks, but did eventually state that it had stopped the attacks and was now targeting Tor, a service that allows users to use the Internet anonymously.

Of course, most gamers want to know why Lizard Squad targeted the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live over the holidays in the first place. Unfortunately, the answer is simple: for fun, although the group of three also state that they're pointing out security flaws in the system.

"Mostly to raise awareness - to amuse ourselves," says Ryan, one of the members of the group. "Also one of the big aspects here was raising awareness regarding the low state of computer security at these companies."

Regardless of the reason, Lizard Squad is now a target itself for its focus on Tor, after the hacking group Anonymous warned it not to go after the service. Shortly after Lizard Squad ignored the warning, Anonymous tweeted a link that contained personal details about a member of the group.

[Photo Credit: Josh Hallett/Flickr]

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