Xbox Live has returned for many users, but spotty outages remain – according to the most recent company Tweets regarding the outage that started yesterday. The outage was caused by a hack from a group known as “Lizard Squad.” Even after the group accepted responsibility, and said that the attacks had halted, the effects were still being felt hours later.
Now, more than a full-day removed from the start of the attacks that left the Xbox Live network, as well as the PlayStation Network down – users are still experiencing occasional outages within Xbox Live. PlayStation users still have not been able to get back online, and this comes at the worst possible time. Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and then the following days after Christmas are known universally as some of the biggest days of the year for those who are either unwrapping, or giving video games as gifts – and this year was a big holiday shopping season for Xbox, as Microsoft saw incredible sales.
This though is just the latest in a long-line of technical issues that have plagued Sony since the hack on Sony Pictures for their production of the movie “The Interview” which is a story around two individuals assassinating the leader of North Korea at the direction of the CIA. Early indication though point to completely different motivations for the attack, as well as two completely different entities completing the cyber-attacks required to carry out the damage.
Lizard Squad pointed out that their main reasoning for the attack was to push both companies to have better security on their networks, and to prevent truly malicious attacks from happening in the future. The massive attacks that were launched all amounted to a disruption of service attacks which are called DDoS attacks. DDoS stands for distributed denial-of-service. In short hand, the attack leaves the networks overwhelmed and unable to cope with the massive traffic numbers that are felt on the various networks while the attacks are taking place.
Attacks like this have been common over the last several years as online gaming has become a staple in the gaming community as a whole. Gaming online has become the most popular method to play these games and while the systems are largely able to handle the surge in traffic at particular times – like launches, and holidays like Christmas – many have said that the security that Microsoft and Sony employ with these systems definitely is short of the mark.
Right now, neither Microsoft nor Sony have admitted that the loss of the network was due to any cyber-attacks, but it remains likely that Lizard Squad was behind the attack.