Hackers want to bring down Xbox Live & PSN again this Christmas. Ho Ho... oh FFS

If you remember last year both PSN and Xbox Live were taken out by DDOS attacks from Lizard Squad. This year Phantom Squad are threatening the same.

The group's Twitter account has already been suspended, so either the group is being taken seriously or Twitter's just good at taking threats seriously when it's not people getting them. Xbox Live was down for a few hours yesterday which Phantom Squad has been taking credit for:

The somewhat stretched reasoning for the attacks is that Sony and Microsoft have lots of money but don't spend it on security.

The problem with this logic is that DDOS, or distributed denial of service, attacks are incredibly hard to stop. It involves flooding a server with automated requests, overloading it so that real people can't get a look in. Imagine a robot stuffing hundreds of letters into a letter box so fast that it clogs up and prevents proper letters getting through. That's DDOS. There are ways to minimise but it's notoriously hard to stop entirely.

It doesn't help that Anonymous are throwing an oar in:

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Obviously, as with all these things there's no way of ever knowing if the people saying they did it actually did it, with Phantom Squad sort of claiming Xbox Live's outage yesterday stopped because they called off the attack:

The main thing to remember here is that DDOS attacks are really difficult to deal with, and if these groups really wanted to hurt companies they'd do it in a way that didn't affect the customers - IE ordinary gamers. This is basically the online equivalent of breaking a window and bragging about it.

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Leon Hurley
Senior Guides Co-ordinator

I'm GamesRadar's Senior Guides Co-ordinator, which means I run GamesRadar's guides and tips content. I also write reviews, previews and features, largely about horror, action adventure, FPS and open world games. I previously worked on Kotaku, and the Official PlayStation Magazine and website.