Update 3: 12/27: Sony reports that its PlayStation Network services are gradually coming back online.
Update 2: 12/26: Although Xbox Live’s status page shows the service is up and running, the PlayStation Network is still down. A few fake twitter accounts alleging to be part of the hacker group appeared in the wake of the turmoil and claimed the attack was ongoing. However, Lizard Squad has now clarified via its main Twitter page that it is no longer attacking the networks, so PSN is likely just suffering from residual maintenance.
Update: it appears that hacker group Lizard Squad has backed off, after file sharing service Mega’s founder Kim Dotcom offered them 3,000 premium accounts to do so and confirmed that he followed through with his deal. The current outage on both networks is possibly due to support teams working on getting them back online, and gamers should be able to log on to Xbox Live and PlayStation Network shortly.
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) December 26, 2014
The service interruption is similar to one that occurred just over two weeks ago, when hacker group Lizard Squad claimed responsibility for taking down PSN. Users on both networks are experiencing issues signing in, and it’s likely that DDoS attacks were used to take them down.
We are aware that there have been issues reported with PSN. Thanks for your patience as we investigate.
— Ask PlayStation (@AskPlayStation) December 24, 2014
We're aware users are having issues logging into XBL & are actively working to resolve. Please visit http://t.co/99xfLNN0o8 for updates ^JX
— Xbox Support (@XboxSupport) December 25, 2014
The hacker group that’s been playing scrooge since Christmas Eve has been boasting about taking down both gaming services for a while now, though a rival group said they’d be able to help avert the attack.
At the time of writing, Xbox Live had issues affecting its sign-ins for Xbox One, as well as its IGN, Maxim and MLG.TV apps.
Meanwhile, the PSN service is currently offline, as its status page indicates.
Lizard Squad has said that they shut down their takedown tactics two hours ago, and that the extended outage is just the ‘aftermath’ of their attack.
While the downtime is most likely the work of this group, it’s also possible that both services began experiencing trouble owing to scores of new consoles being unwrapped from gift boxes and attempting to connect to their gaming networks — it is Christmas, after all.
We’ve contacted both Microsoft and Sony for comment, and will update this post with developments.