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let the games begin

Sony's Playstation network is up again as the company admits it WAS attacked by hackers

No direct link is being made to the cyber attack over ‘The Interview’.

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Updated at 12.05pm

SONY HAS ADMITTED that the attack which knocked out its Playstation network on Christmas came from hackers as the company finally got all its systems back online.

Both Sony and Microsoft’s Xbox networks were hit with a major outage 3 days ago in a major denial-of-service (DDOS) attack on the online gaming systems.

The disruption started on Christmas Day with both networks attempting to restore connectivity at one of the busiest periods of the year.

The Xbox network was mostly back online on St Stephen’s Day, however Playstation users were still complaining of problems logging in yesterday.

But in a recent blog post, Sony vice president Catherine Jensen wrote the Playstation network was finally operational – and admitted for the first time that a deliberate attack was behind the outage.

As you probably know, (the) 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,” she wrote.

Blame the Lizard Squad

A group called the Lizard Squad claimed responsibility for the attack, which involved the 2 companies’ networks being hit with massive traffic to shut them down.

The same so-called “hacking community” also took credit for previous attacks on both the Xbox and Playstation networks, including one in which it bizarrely claimed to have “planted the ISIS flag” on Sony’s servers.

In a strange twist to the latest attack, eccentric internet mogul Kim Dotcom said via Twitter that he had performed a “Christmas miracle” and stopped the Lizard Squad shutting down the networks.

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A Twitter account claiming to be from the Lizard Squad said the group had stopped its DDOS attack early on St Stephen’s Day – however the systems might stay down for a while because of the “aftermath” of the attack.

The latest headache for Sony

Sony was hit by a sophisticated hacking attack this month that stole massive amounts of data from its servers.

The US has blamed North Korea for the attack, with the reclusive state seen as furious at the release of Sony film ‘The Interview’.

The movie was given a limited release on Christmas Day but has also been released online through Youtube as well as both Xbox and Sony.

Analysts said a direct connection between the gaming outage and the Sony Pictures attack was unlikely and that the latest attack was probably the work of fame-seeking amateurs.

“The timing suggests that this is an attack that we can put in the category of adolescents who are looking for a bit of glory,” said Pierre Samson of the European Circle Security and Information Systems.

“There is a very small probability that there was a direct link with the attack on Sony Pictures, you can order an attack to online services fairly easily with few resources.”

He said thousands of similar attacks are launched daily, although they are not always effective.

Additional reporting from Peter Bodkin and AFP

Read: So after all that hassle is The Interview actually any good? >

Read: Hackers have scared Hollywood into not releasing Seth Rogen’s new North Korea film >

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