Hackers continue to harass gaming networks

Hackers steal Christmas for Sony and Xbox use... 02:08

All the holly and jolly of Christmas morning turned into a lump of coal for many, including TJ Ebner, whose brand new Xbox was knocked offline.

"Kind of like blew my mind," Ebner told me.

The Microsoft Xbox Live Network and Sony's PlayStation Network were down for much of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, in what's believed to be a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack. Hackers flood a site with tens of thousands of access requests overwhelming servers and shutting them down.

Xbox, PlayStation networks go down on Christm... 01:20

It's a common attack, according to cybersecurity expert Steve Laff. He told me the hackers are not likely after money.

"They're trying to teach this company a lesson that you need to have better protection or they may be doing it for sport," Laff said. "They're just idiots."

The Lizard Squad hacking group is taking credit for the attack. On Christmas Day they taunted gamers on Twitter saying: "I wonder how many people tried to return their new console thinking it was broken."

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15-year-old Robin Aimaq CBS News

An Xbox was 15-year-old Robin Aimaq's sole Christmas gift.

"I think that it's sad that they have to go for innocent people that just want to play their games on Christmas especially -- that's the worse day to do it," said Aimaq.

The hackers claimed to have ended their attack on Christmas night.

These attacks on Microsoft and Sony do not appear to have any connection to the controversy over Sony's release of the film "The Interview."

In comments made online, members of the Lizard Squad said they chose Christmas day for their attack because it would anger the largest number of people. As for why they did any of this in the first place, they said they did it because they could.

  • Ben Tracy
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    Ben Tracy is a CBS News White House correspondent based in Washington, D.C.