If you couldn't get your Xbox or PlayStation online this Christmas, it wasn't just you; Xbox Live and PlayStation Network were both down for the majority of Christmas Day, allegedly thanks to a group of malicious hackers making good on their threats.
Earlier this month, a group called Lizard Squad threatened to bring down the gaming services on Christmas and it seems it was successful, especially if you take into account the statement released by Sony over the weekend:
PlayStation Network is back online. As you probably know, PlayStation Network and some other gaming services were attacked over the holidays with artificially high levels of traffic designed to disrupt connectivity and online gameplay. This may have prevented your access to the network and its services over the last few days.
In an interview with The Daily Dot, a supposed member of the group said that "Microsoft and Sony are… literally monkeys behind computers," and that "they would have better luck if they actually hired someone who knew what they were doing." They suggested that the companies hire people who have been arrested for "stuff like this."
Another member said that if they "had a big enough budget," that they "could totally stop these attacks."
"I'd buy more bandwidth, some specific equipment, and configure it correctly. It's just about programming skill. With an attack of this scale it could go up to the millions. But that's really no problem for Sony and Microsoft."
A tweet from the group posted the day after Christmas says that "These corporations make billions off your existence and still don't even pay their tax. And you're still defending them? Open your eyes."
Meanwhile, other corporations continue to use things like regional service monopolies and shady patenting practices to create customer dependence and lack of alternative options, though the group doesn't seem too interested in that. The moral elements of the statements seem like an afterthought to the more present idea of doing it because they can and because it makes lots of people unhappy.
Whether the people behind Lizard Squad are responsible for these attacks and whether they're hackers, script kiddies, or whatever else, Sony's statement lends credence to the whole thing. The group has been a source of frequent frustration for gamers this year; let's hope the group made their point with the events over Christmas and this won't turn into a way of life for online gaming in the future.