PlayStation Network still offline after suspected attack

Sony's online video game network is still struggling after a suspected DDoS attack brought it down on Christmas.

Michelle Meyers
Michelle Meyers wrote and edited CNET News stories from 2005 to 2020 and is now a contributor to CNET.
Michelle Meyers
2 min read


Sony's PlayStation Network was still recovering on Saturday from a suspected attack that took it offline over Christmas.

PSN, along with Microsoft's Xbox Live, started experiencing connection problems three days ago on Wednesday afternoon. A hacking group called Lizard Squad claimed responsibility via Twitter for a DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attack, but the attack and its involvement couldn't be confirmed.

The suspected attack doesn't appear to be related to hacks on Sony Entertainment in late November.

As of midday Saturday -- three days after the connection problems first surfaced -- Sony's PlayStation Knowledge Center still lists the network as offline. The company's AskPlayStation Twitter account's latest tweet, midday Saturday, says "engineers are working hard to restore online gameplay as quickly as possible."

Sony has not issued a public explanation for the problems, but a post on the PlayStation Blog subtly points the finger at a DDoS attack.

"The video game industry has been experiencing high levels of traffic designed to disrupt connectivity and online gameplay. Multiple networks, including PSN, have been affected over the last 48 hours," it says.

Sony couldn't be reached directly for comment Saturday.

Lizard Squad, for its part, said on Friday via its Twitter account that it had stopped the DDoS attack on PSN and Xbox Live, and had moved onto the Tor anonymity service. The Tor Project confirmed Friday that an attack attempted to undermine the service by flooding it with fake servers. But it's fending off the attack and doesn't "expect any anonymity or performance effects based on what we've seen so far."

Microsoft, meanwhile, managed to get Xbox Live back up and running, though the network's status page is still showing "limited" service.

Sony recognizes that the timing of the outage is especially bad given that Santa likely delivered many new consoles.

"If you received a PlayStation console over the holidays and have been unable to log onto the network, know that this problem is temporary and is not caused by your game console," its PlayStation Blog read.

So far there's been no estimate as to when service will be restored, other than "soon."