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Sony's PlayStation network was back up and running after a cyberattack disrupted operations and ruined Christmas for untold numbers of children, the company said late on Saturday. "PlayStation Network is back online," Catherine Jensen, vice president of consumer experience, said in a blog. "As you probably know, PlayStation Network and some other gaming services were attacked over the holidays with artificially high levels of traffic designed to disrupt connectivity and online gameplay.

Microsoft's online network for its Xbox game system was similarly crippled by what hackers claimed was a targeted attack on Christmas Day. A "denial of service attack" is sometimes used by hackers and operates in the same way that Jensen described, by flooding networks with traffic.

A hacker group called "Lizard Squad" gleefully claimed responsibility for knocking the services offline, saying on Twitter on Thursday that it had overwhelmed Sony and Microsoft's servers with bogus user traffic. The service went down just before Christmas. Microsoft restored its Xbox Live on Friday, and on Saturday Sony said service was still affected but progress was being made.

Earlier, the company appeared to admit for the first time that the disruption had been the result of a cyberattack. "The video game industry has been experiencing high levels of traffic designed to disrupt connectivity and online gameplay," Jensen said.



— Phil Helsel