Spencer says Microsoft working with Sony & Nintendo to prevent future DDoS attacks

xboxIt was around Christmas time last year when Xbox Live and PSN experienced major outages lasting several hours. Gamers were left in the dark as both Microsoft and Sony’s multi-player networks were brought down in a series of vicious denial of service (DDoS) attacks, allegedly by a group calling themselves the LizardSquad. The tech companies just did not or could not act fast enough to stop the attack and revive their servers.

Reports say some of the hackers involved got arrested in the UK since then, but the damage was already done. Fear and unease has been seeded deep inside many gamers but Microsoft wants to look at this as a “learning experience”. Many were left wondering, just how such big corporate systems can be brought down by a couple of individuals sitting in their parent’s basements?

Well, it appears that Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo are now working together and conversations on this important topic are indeed happening.

Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer revealed in a recent interview with Game Informer that he has had talks with Microsoft’s main gaming rivals where the companies shared learning experiences and tried to find ways to work together in an effort to provide gamers with a more reliable and stable playing platform. By tackling the problem collectively, as an industry, they have a better chance at being successful.

“I don’t think it’s great when PSN goes down,” Spencer says. “It doesn’t help me. All it does is put the fear and distrust from any gamer that’s out there, so I look at all of us together as this is our collective opportunity to share what we can about what we’re learning and how things are growing. Those conversations happen, which I think is great.”

Spencer also adds “Our commitment to Xbox One customers is to make sure our service is robust and reliable.”

Xbox Live Services are Limited on Xbox One – sign-in issues continue

xbox-one-controller1After a couple of rocky days for Xbox Live users it appears now that Microsoft is still having issues with their online services for Xbox One after initially reporting the services have been restored earlier today.

According to Xbox Live status page in a new update, Xbox Live Core Services are now “Limited” and affected services listed are “Signing into Xbox Live on Xbox One“. Microsoft offers this generic explanation as of 12/27/2014 7:42:07 PM EST:

“Are you having a difficult time signing in to Xbox Live? We’re aware of this issue, and we’re doing our best to get this sorted out ASAP! Thanks for staying patient, Xbox members. We’ll let you know where we stand on our investigation in 30 minutes.”

In what is widely believed to be a DDoS attack by a hacking group called “Lizard Squad”, many Xbox users world-wide were unable to connect online to Xbox Live since Christmas day. The attacks lasted until today as Xbox Live was coming back online intermittently since last night in different regions but now it appears that the problems have re-surfaced.

It’s unclear whether Microsoft has done anything this time around to permanently resolve this problem as Lizard Squad have claimed responsibility for a number of Xbox Live service take-downs since November. It’s a bit puzzling how these folks seem to be able to easily and successfully repeat their attacks on the biggest gaming network on the planet.

PSN users have also experienced the same type of outage on Christmas day as Lizard Squad didn’t discriminate platforms and turned out to be a huge Grinch this year for all gamers.

Xbox Live & PSN are down! Could this really be the work of Lizard Squad? (Update: Xbox Live back online in many areas)

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**Update** Xbox Live seems to be back up for some, many users are still not able to sign in whether it be Xbox Live or even Xbox services on Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone.   We are still waiting for PSN to come back up.  For those of you still no able to sign on visit  xbox.com/support for more information regarding which services are down.

Xbox Live core services seem to be  down at the moment, not just on Xbox consoles, but even Xbox Video on Windows 8/8.1 and Windows Phone.  Could this possibly be the work of the infamous Lizard Squad?

Lizard squad did make a promises to shut down Xbox Live on Christmas day not too long ago after Xbox Live went down in early December twitting the following “That’s a small dose of what’s to come on Christmas,” they also tweeted saying that Microsoft will receive a wonderful Christmas present from us.”

It’s  interesting that Sony’s PlayStation Network is currently down too.  In August, Lizard Squad claimed responsibility of taking down Sony’s PlayStation Network for many hours using the same DDos attacks.   This group has also gained the attention of the FBI when they caused a flight carrying Sony’s Online entertainment President John Smedley to divert due to their Tweet claiming there were explosives on the plane.

This could be a big concern for gamers along with Microsoft and Sony since taking down such  core services was able to be achieved with plenty of warning.  Just a little earlier people were reporting outages for Xbox Video amongst other services which were quickly back up and running, but having everything go  down shortly after is a little concerning.

Of course this is just speculation and there is no indication that it could be the doing of Lizard Squad, and that these gaming services  may just be down for maintenance purposes or due to the large influx of gamers logging in.  But one can’t think that this is such a major coincidence after the promise Lizard Squad made to shut down Xbox Live on Christmas day.  We will wait to see what happens or how long this problem persists and hopefully get an official statement from Microsoft or Sony soon.