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PlayStation and Xbox hacked: Lizard Squad claims credit

Sony's PlayStation store and Microsoft's Xbox Live site have been targeted by hackers. Lizard Squad, a group of hackers that have been linked to the earlier attack on Sony and the threats against 'The Interview,' is claiming responsibility.

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    Sony Computer Entertainment President and CEO Kazuo Hirai explains how to use its new PlayStation Portable 'NGP,' Jan. 27, 2011, in Tokyo. Sony's online PlayStation store was inaccessible to users for part of Dec. 25 and 26 in the latest possible cyberattack on the electronics and entertainment company. Microsoft's Xbox also appeared to be targeted.
    Shizuo Kambayashi/AP/File
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Sony's online PlayStation store and Microsoft's Xbox site suffered disruptions to users on Christmas Day, in what appears to be a new cyberattack on the companies. Lizard Squad, which has been linked to the earlier attack on Sony, claimed credit for the new hack, according to Reuters.

Both companies expected heavy use, as people who received Microsoft Xbox players or Sony PlayStations on Christmas tried to hook up. The problems may have been exacerbated by Sony's decision to let consumers download the controversial movie "The Interview" through Xbox Video as well as other online sources.

A notice on Microsoft's Xbox Live support website said it knew some users were having trouble signing in. it said, "We're aware of this issue, and we're working to find a fix ASAP!" As of Friday morning, most Xbox Live apps were running, but three were still down: IGN, Maxim, and MGL.TV, according to the website.

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The problems had also affected Xbox Live Core Services, though that was resolved, it said.

The PlayStation Store Twitter feed said Friday that some users were having trouble logging into its network. It said engineers were investigating.

Earlier this month the PlayStation store also experienced spells of inaccessibility. That followed a cyberattack on computer systems of Sony Pictures Entertainment that led to the release of confidential information on the Internet.

As of 9:00 a.m. ET, PlayStation Network was still offline, according to the device's status page.

"We are aware that some users are experiencing difficulty logging into the PSN," it said. "We will update this article with any changes that occur in regards to this issue. Thank you for your patience."

"I have the nation on strings," Lizard Squad wrote on its Twitter site. It also said it would put the sites back online if enough people retweeted its messages, or favorited their posts.

On Thursday, Microsoft Xbox spokesman Sean McCarthy declined to give details of how the company may have been preparing for security breaches, given the problems that Sony has experienced in releasing "The Interview."

"Of course, it's safe to say the holiday season is always a very busy time of year for any consumer electronics company, so we work hard to ensure the stability of our infrastructure when so many consoles are activating for the first time."

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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