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Xbox fans play games from the popular “Halo” franchise at HaloFest at the Avalon Theatre in Los Angeles on Monday, Nov. 10, 2014. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision for Microsoft/AP Images)
AP/Matt Sayles
Better times.
REKT

Hackers took down Xbox Live and PlayStation Network on Christmas morning

By Zach Wener-Fligner

It’s a Christmas tragedy for video game-lovers.

Hackers attacked Sony’s Playstation Network and Microsoft’s Xbox Live gaming platforms Thursday morning, taking them offline and disappointing those who woke up with new video game consoles under the tree.

Hacker group Lizard Squad claimed responsibility for the attacks from its Twitter account. Lizard Squad initially announced plans for a Christmas attack at the beginning of this month. But after a rival hacker group known as Finest Squad exposed some of the Lizard Squad members’ identities and reported vulnerabilities they had found to PlayStation and Xbox administrators, it seemed that the Lizard Squad hackers had been thwarted.

But apparently not.

Lizard Squad has this year carried out previous cyber-attacks on PlayStation and Xbox. It has also hit EA Games, and grounded a Sony executive’s flight with a tweeted bomb threat.

Both PlayStation and Xbox consoles were likely popular gifts this holiday season. In October, Sony said it had sold a total of 13.5 million PlayStation 4 consoles since its 2013 launch, while it’s estimated that Microsoft had sold about 5 million Xbox One units at that point.  Video game consoles make up 63% of all gaming platforms in the $93 billion video game market, with PlayStation and Xbox the two most dominant players.

Xbox and PlayStation’s Twitter support accounts said they were aware of the problems and actively working to resolve them: