Phantom Squad hackers threaten to take down PlayStation and Xbox networks this Christmas

Update: The Phantom Squad twitter account seems to have been suspended

Phantom Squad hackers threaten to take down PlayStation and Xbox networks this Christmas

A group of hackers going by the name of Phantom Squad has threatened to attack the Xbox Live and PlayStation networks during the Christmas period.

For the past week, the group has been tweeting its plans to use distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks to disrupt the online services of both companies. Phantom Squad says it aims to carry out the hack to highlight the lack of cybersecurity investment from Sony and Microsoft. 

While chest puffing is not a new phenomenon for either the hacking or Twitter communities, the threat hits a raw nerve. Last year, a hacking collective called Lizard Squad took down both Xbox and PlayStation networks on Christmas Day with DDoS attacks. For two days, if players wanted to play online they were unable to do so, and breaking access to updates meant players were also prevented from enjoying many single-player games.

Phantom Squad has already claimed responsibility for Xbox Live service outages over the past week. The group has also said that it indends to attack the servers of specific games, including Grand Theft Auto V, Star Wars: The Old Republic and Call of Duty: Black Ops 3. Whether or not the group will follow up on any of these festive threats remains to be seen.

When news of these threats surfaced online, internet figurehead Kim Dotcom weighed in, warning Xbox and PlayStation to be ready for any attacks on their servers. Last year, Dotcom helped to end the Lizard Squad attacks by offering the hackers 3,000 accounts on his encrypted upload service, Mega.

Here’s hoping that Microsoft and Sony have made moves to improve cybersecurity, otherwise plenty of players across the globe may be faced with the horror of having to play charades with their families.  

NEXT: FBI links a hacker to 1.2 billion stolen web credentials.

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