Xbox Live is down again

After about an hour of enjoying Master Chief Collection with friends we all lost our connection to the party and all of a sudden all of our friends lists went dark. They showed zero players online, and we were unable to invite each other back into the game and had issues sending messages even from the Smart Glass app.

We were all able to join Halo matches on our own, but coudln’t join each other’s games or parties. It appears as if Xbox Live is once again under attack and most of the social services seem to be affected right now (over the last 30 minutes or so).

We were having a blast playing Halo, and it’s frustrating to have our enjoyment interrupted once again by a group of “hackers” (the hashtag #xboxlivedown seems to show a widespread interruption). What a shame. I guess I’ll either try to play Dragon Age or just give up all together and play some 3DS to end the night.

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An unhappy day for new console owners

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I noticed after we came home from breakfast with family yesterday morning I was unable to sign into Xbox Live. We only had a few hours before we had to head out again for another family gathering so I didn’t think too much of it. I did notice throughout the evening I was unable to view my friends via the SmartGlass app on my phone. I had been looking to see which of my friends had upgraded from the 360 to the Xbox One this Christmas.

It was then I was first made aware of the mass outage affecting both Xbox Live and PSN. I saw a series of tweets mentioning the outages and found confirmation on both IGN and CNN. When I saw that the outages were thought to be a result of DDoS attacks I felt quite a bit of anger. Why would someone be so cruel on a holiday that means so much to so many people? I could imagine the thousands of gamers, the young especially, trying to boot up their new consoles only to be met with nothingness. From what I understand many were not able to play at all as the games or consoles themselves required updates and were not able to receive them.

I was away all day so the outage didn’t affect me, but the fact that it was disrupting the Christmas joy of thousands of others saddened me. Did the outage affect you? Is it still affecting you? Xbox Live seems to be working as advertised right now for most people (including myself), but PSN is still mostly down.

What happened (in a brief, barely informed nutshell)?

The nuisance group which calls themselves The Lizard Squad apparently took both networks down yesterday. They were demanding retweets in exchange for releasing their grip on the networks. In the end Kim Dotcom seemingly single-handedly ended the attacks by offering Lizard Squad members premium MEGA accounts.

A group called Finest Squad spent most of yesterday and today countering Lizard Squad’s efforts, and has been working to bring the “hackers” to justice. Their efforts are greatly appreciated, and will hopefully deter future “pranks”.