‘Tis the season for cyber warfare, it seems. On the back of a major hacking fracas involving one of its upcoming movies, The Interview, Sony, along with its rival Microsoft, have both been hit by a massive Denial of Service attacks that have crippled both PlayStation Network and Xbox Live.
“We’re aware that some of you are experiencing trouble signing in to Xbox Live, and we want you to know we’re working to address this as quickly as we possibly can,” reads a message on the Xbox Live status page, “Thanks for your patience! We’ll update you on our progress in a half hour.”
The PlayStation Network status page, meanwhile, reports that it is offline.
Responsibility for the DDoS attacks on Xbox Live and PSN has been claimed by a group called Lizard Squad, apparently the same group that slowed down PSN and other online gaming networks like League of Legends, World of Warcraft and Path of Exile.
DDoS attack mapping service IPViking shows that pretty much all of these cyberattacks are originating from one country: China.
For those not in the know, a DDoS attack involves flooding a network with more traffic than it can possibly cope with, causing massive slowdowns and outright unavailability to legitimate users. These attacks are temporary and unlikely to compromise personal information for users on Xbox Live and PSN, but nonetheless serve as a huge inconvenience on a day when many are getting Xbox Ones and PlayStation 4s for gifts.
It seems that millions of unfortunate gamers eager to start playing on their brand new consoles will instead be damned to spending the holidays with their families.