Kim “Santa” Dotcom Creates Christmas Miracle: Xbox Back Online While Playstation Struggles Following Lizard Squad DDoS Attack

Hackers claim to have access to rooted trans-Atlantic cable routers

Cheryl Kemp

December 26, 2014

3 Min Read
Kim “Santa” Dotcom Creates Christmas Miracle: Xbox Back Online While Playstation Struggles Following Lizard Squad DDoS Attack
A building on Microsoft’s headquarters campus in Redmond, Washington. (Photo: Microsoft)



This article originally appeared at The WHIR

It appears the hacker group Lizard Squad made good on its threat to cause Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation big headaches for Christmas. The group left gamers unable to use new consoles received as gifts by orchestrating DDoS attacks on the sites. This comes after the group claimed credit for two major outages at the same sites earlier in December and posted the tweet that those disruptions were “just a small dose of what’s to come on Christmas.”

The group says it’s DDoS attack was, “possible thanks to rooted undersea routers used on transatlantic cables.”

With Xbox boasting 48 million subscribers and PlayStation over double that with 110 million, the hackers affected a substantial number of gamers Christmas day. Users have been experiencing problems since Wednesday.

At 6:51 a.m. EST on December 25th, thePlayStation Twitter feed posted, “We’re aware that some users are having issues logging into PSN – engineers are investigating.”

At 11:41 a.m. the Xbox support Twitter feed posted, “We’re aware users are having issues logging into XBL & are actively working to resolve. Please visit for updates ^JX” The Xbox status page reports all services are back to normal except minor problems with IGN, Maxim and apps.

As of 11:07 a.m. EST on Friday, PlayStation is still offline according to it’s status page. The last update was posted Christmas day. “We are aware that some users are experiencing difficulty logging into the PSN,” according to the site. “We will update this article with any changes that occur in regards to this issue. Thank you for your patience.”

Neither Playstation or Xbox support feeds have updated their Twitter status today.

This is at least the second outage for PlayStation this month and comes after Sony’s major hack that the FBI says was caused by North Korea.

At 8:08 p.m. EST December 25th, the Lizard Squad Twitter feed reported that it stopped the attacks and that continued problems are simply the aftermath.

Kim Dotcom, who has been in the news recently regarding his extradition hearingwhen the US has lost a bid to have him remanded in custody in New Zealand said via Twitter, “Asking Mega management to approve 3000 @MegaPrivacy premium vouchers for @LizardMafia if they stop attacking XBOX Live and PSN immediately.”

Dotcom is known for running Megaupload, a sharing site that prosecutors argue cost film and music companies more than $500 million and generated more than $175 million in criminal proceeds.

He claims credit for stopping the attack on Xbox and PlayStation by giving the Lizard Squad 500GB of upload space at Mega, a cloud-based storage site with end to end encryption. The site says, “Unlike other cloud storage providers, your data is encrypted and decrypted during transfer by your client devices only and never by us.” Dotcom posted a picture of his chat conversation with Lizard Squad negotiating the end of the attacks. He gave them 3,000 vouchers worth $99 each.

The Lizard Squad said, “Thanks @KimDotcom for the vouchers–you’re the reason we stopped the attacks. @MegaPrivacy is an awesome service.”

It isn’t clear what the group may want to send through the encrypted service but Dotcom says the account is only as good as the gaming sites don’t get attacked again. He is an avid Xbox player which could account for that service being online while PlayStation is still struggling to restore services.

Neither Microsoft or PlayStation have given any details about the nature of the outages, whether they were DDoS attacks or who may be responsible.

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