Xbox and Playstation hacked on Christmas Day

Credit: PA

Microsoft's Xbox Live and Sony's PlayStation were hacked on Christmas Day, leaving millions unable to play their games online.

Hacking group Lizard Squad claimed responsibility for the attack which left millions of users struggling to access their accounts for hours.

The problems may have been exacerbated by the usual festive spike in traffic and Sony's decision to let consumers download the controversial movie "The Interview" through Xbox Video as well as other online sources.

A message posted on Microsoft's website at 9.30pm said: "Are you having a rough time signing in to Xbox Live? We're working to get this figured out right away. We appreciate your patience."

But as three hours hours later the problem still persisted with technicians saying they were still "hard at work trying to reach a solution."

Microsoft said Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Xbox on other devices were affected by the problem.

On its Twitter page, Lizard Squad wrote: "I have the nation on strings," Lizard Squad and said it would put the sites back online if enough people retweeted its messages.

A post at 1am claimed the attacks had now stopped but some users on social media say they are still experiencing problems.

The latest trouble adds to Sony's woes after hackers calling themselves the Guardians of Peace, who are believed to have links to North Korea, broke into the company's internal systems and stole huge amounts of data last month. The FBI said that North Korea was behind the hacking group.

The hack was reported to be in retaliation for the planned release of The Interview movie about a plot to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.

The movie was screened in America yesterday, having initially been cancelled amid threats of terrorist attacks on cinemas that chose to screen it.

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