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Updated on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Pacific with Sony’s comment on the attacks.

Xbox Live and PlayStation Network went down yesterday for Christmas, and a group of cyberattackers known as Lizard Squad took credit for the damage. This led hacker-turned-entrepreneur Kim Dotcom to make a peace offering to the band of Internet vandals.

When Dotcom, who owns and operates the file-transfer website Mega, found out that he could not get online to play developer Bungie’s online shooter Destiny on Xbox One, he took to the Web to strike a deal. Seeing an opportunity to end the attack, Dotcom offered every member of Lizard Squad a free lifetime membership to Mega if they ceased their assault on Microsoft’s gaming servers. It looks like that may have worked — although Sony says that a “designed” disruption is still causing problems for its service.


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Lizard Squad apparently jumped at the deal. Dotcom claims to have corresponded with the group through direct messaging on Twitter to work out the details of the arrangement.

Then, about 12 hours ago, Lizard Squad tweeted that it had stopped barraging Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. The group explained that any further outage was “just the aftermath.”

Lizard Squad even went so far as to explicitly say that Kim Dotcom is the reason they stopped.

Xbox Live did not work for much of yesterday, but it is up and running now. PlayStation Network went down for Christmas day, and Sony is still trying to get it fixed (although many people are able to get online). Neither Microsoft nor Sony have confirmed that their online infrastructures collapsed due to malicious activity, but many find it easy to believe Lizard Squad since it has usually sent out messages that precede large outages on gaming services before.

The group has previously taken credit for slamming games like League of Legends and World of Warcraft offline in addition to services like Xbox Live and PlayStation Network.

Dotcom is probably best known for getting arrested in 2012 on United States charges of copyright infringement. The U.S. alleged that Dotcom was aware that people were using his Megaupload website to illegally share Hollywood films and other protected materials. Dotcom is fighting the charges as well as the extradition from New Zealand to the U.S.


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