Hackers back down on threats to attack PlayStation and Xbox networks on Christmas Day

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A repeat of last year’s gaming outage looks to have been avoided after hacker group Phantom Group claimed it won’t target Sony and Microsoft.

Last Christmas, gamers were outraged when both the PlayStation and Xbox networks were taken offline by hackers through a denial of service attack.

But, despite threats of a repeat this year, it appears that the hacker group Phantom Squad has backed down.

A new Twitter account run by the group confirmed the news and said they would target the Lizard Squad instead.

Lizard Squad was the group that claimed responsibility for last year’s gaming hack and have occasionally attempted to sabotage systems during the course of the year.

phantom Squad

Phantom Squad previously claimed it could take down both Xbox Live andPlaystation Network for a week over Christmas.

The attack, known as a distributed denial of service (DDoS), floods web servers or websites with massive amounts of data.

In a series of posts, the group accused Xbox Live and Playstation Newtork (PSN) of having millions of dollars but not spending any security.

GettyComputer hacker
A denial of service attack works by overwhelming a server with requests

Unsurprisingly, Twitter didn’t take kindly to a self-proclaimed hacker group promoting an attack on its service. The micro-blogging site suspended the Phantom Squad account.

However, as with other hacker groups, members simply created a new account and continued to tweet.

And while Lizard Squad itself has kept silent on the subject of the Phantom Squad, it did post a worrying tweet earlier in the week suggesting it would attack gamers itself.

Whether or not the Xbox and PlayStation networks are attacked, there will be a lot of gamers straining to use the services over the next few days.

As well as hosting multiplayer gaming, the services also offer games for sale (often at lower prices for a Christmas sale) and are required for downloading updates.