After a multi-day outage that left players unable to set up new PlayStation and Xbox gaming systems over the Christmas holiday, both Sony and Microsoft report that their online networks are back up and running.
A hacking group called Lizard Squad took credit for flooding the networks in a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack that crippled the sites Thursday and Friday. The two young men who seem to have been behind the takedown -- a Finnish teenager and a 22 year old from the U.K -- reportedly stopped their attack in a deal with Kim Dotcom, founder of the file-sharing site MegaUpload. Dotcom tweeted them with an offer of $300,000 worth of vouchers to his new file-sharing service MegaPrivacy if they'd stop the DDoS and "let us play."
Lizard Squad agreed, and said that service issues that continued after that were the result of PlayStation and Xbox players trying to get back online all at once.
On his blog Monday, cybersecurity expert Brian Krebs said that the duo "may in fact be guilty of nothing more than taking credit for other peoples' crimes." He continued, "But I hope it's clear to the media that the Lizard Squad is not some sophisticated hacker group."
As CNET editor Dan Ackerman told CBS News, it's very hard to pinpoint who is really responsible for attacks, especially since any hacker group may be "a loose amalgamation of people, some of whom know each other, some of the people don't know each other."
Sony posted a note to players on its PlayStation blog Saturday saying, "If you received a PlayStation console over the holidays and have been unable to log onto the network, know that this problem is temporary and is not caused by your game console."
In a tweet the following day, Lizard Squad posited, "How many people do you think returned their ps4 for an Xbox one because of network issues."
PlayStation added an update to its blog post once service was restored: "Network is back online. 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. This may have prevented your access to the network and its services over the last few days."
On Twitter, the company is advising users who are still having trouble signing in to reboot their consoles and try again.
Xbox Live is also back online.