Hacker Claims Credit for Xbox, PlayStation Problems

Damian Dovarganes/AP

Microsoft's (MSFT) Xbox Live and Sony's (SNE) PlayStation Networks experienced user connection problems on Christmas Day. A hacker group called Lizard Squad claimed responsibility, but the companies did not give a reason for the connectivity issues.

Both companies expected heavy use as people who received Xbox players or PlayStations on Christmas tried to hook up. The problems may have been exacerbated by Sony's decision to let consumers download the controversial movie "The Interview" through Xbox Video as well as other online sources.

"Hundreds of users took to Twitter to report problems with the systems, which lasted much of the day," CNN reported. Three Xbox platforms were affected by the service problem: Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Xbox on other devices, Microsoft's status website said.

"I have the nation on strings," Lizard Squad wrote on its Twitter site. It also said it would put the sites back online if enough people retweeted its messages.

Earlier on Thursday, Microsoft Xbox spokesman Sean McCarthy declined to give details of how the company may have been preparing for security breaches, given the problems that Sony has experienced in releasing "The Interview." "Of course, it's safe to say holiday season is always a very busy time of year for any consumer electronics company, so we work hard to ensure the stability of our infrastructure when so many consoles are activating for the first time."