If you tried to go online with your PlayStation or Xbox consoles yesterday – Christmas Day, when lots of folks were likely receiving said systems as gifts – you might’ve hit a pretty rough snag. Apparently the hacking group known as the Lizard Squad was at it again, hitting both the PlayStation Network and the Xbox LIVE Network with DDoS attacks and keeping millions of users from going online. And, like some technologically advanced German Santa Claus, Kim Dotcom got them to stop. What?

It all started down yesterday, according to this post on TechCrunch, as Lizard Squad once again took credit for knocking out the two biggest video game networks for no other reason than because they’re kind of a bunch of jerks. Sony and Microsoft did their best to try to restore their online networks, but apparently to no avail – at least not until Kim Dotcom, the founder of Megaupload stepped in.

According to Neowin, Kim Dotcom offered Lizard Squad lifetime Pro1 vouchers for Mega, the encrypted online storage service Dotcom founded after Megaupload was shut down due to its shady legal operations. As long as they continued to stay away from the PSN and Xbox LIVE, the vouchers would renew every year, giving them free lifetime access. If they break their promise, however, the vouchers would be suspended. And thus, the PSN and Xbox LIVE networks were spared.

It’s kind of a messed up situation that the Lizard Squad were basically bribed to not ruin other people’s days. There never was any motive behind the attacks against Sony and Microsoft’s online networks other than notoriety and trolling the world. As such, though Dotcom’s move was effective in getting them to stop, it also rewards bad behavior.

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In a way, this mirrors the recent hacks against Sony Pictures Entertainment, after which The Interview was briefly pulled from its theatrical release. There, too, hackers were rewarded for doing awful things. It’s good that Sony decided to release the movie despite the threats against them – so hopefully Lizard Squad will be found and stopped without receiving more gifts.

In the meantime, however, enjoy those games online – while you can.

[Sources: TechCrunch, Neowin]


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