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Xbox Live and PlayStation Network Attacks, Outages Continue to Ruin Christmas

Meanwhile, my Nintendo 64 works just fine. Just saying.

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Christmas is canceled. Well, if you got an Xbox or PlayStation console, it might feel that way. Both systems’ online gaming networks are still experiencing trouble today after they were downed yesterday by “hackers.”

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Why is “hackers” in quotes? Because the group claiming responsibility is a nebulous bunch of trolls called “The Lizard Squad” that specializes in Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. DDoS attacks are nothing more than spamming a server with an obscene number of incoming connections that eventually overload it and bring it down. There is no real “hacking” involved.

It’s a technique that does maximum damage with minimal know-how, and it’s a shame that it still seems to work so well. In the case of Xbox Live and PSN, players were having trouble connecting all day yesterday, which even amounted to some people not being able to play at all online or off.

Imagine if Microsoft had kept their original “Xbox One needs an Internet connection” plan to function? *Shudder.*

As of today, it seems that Xbox Live has come back up for the most part while PSN is still mostly down, but both are reportedly experiencing persisting issues. In tweets from a now-suspended @LizardPatrol Twitter account, The Lizard Squad threatened this action a good deal of time beforehand, so it’s still a mystery as to how Microsoft and Sony managed not to do enough to prevent it.

The attacks themselves are supposedly over, so things should return to normal soon, but this never should have happened at all. Hopefully the outrage of a ruined Christmas will be enough to finally get something done about these overgrown trolls.

(image via Mike Poresky)

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Dan Van Winkle
Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct <em>Geekosystem</em> (RIP), and then at <em>The Mary Sue</em> starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at <em>Smash Bros.</em>

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