Xbox Live downed after threats; hacker group takes responsibility

A hacker group previously made threats to down the service during Christmas, mimicking a similar high-profile hacker group last year.

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(Image via CNET/CBS Interactive)

Xbox services were downed for a time on Friday following a suspected attack, which a known hacker group claimed to take responsibility for.

Hackers from the Phantom Squad are said to

have launched a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack

against the Microsoft gaming network.

In a tweet, the group said Xbox maker Microsoft, and rival Sony-owned gaming network PSN, doesn't "bother working on security" despite their "millions of dollars."

"PSN and Xbox don't use that money to improve their security. Until they open their eyes, Xbox Live and PSN will remain vulnerable," the group said.

During the attack, the group tweeted: "Xbox Live #Offline," but did not offer any visual proof that they were directly behind the attack.

The group's account, @PhantomSqaud, was later suspended by Twitter.

As of mid-morning on Friday, Xbox services were back to normal, according to the company's support pages. Sony's PSN network is not thought to have been targeted, but a separate tweet by the hacker group warned that it is "next" on their target list.

The threats came a week earlier, mirroring the actions almost a year after the infamous Lizard Squad launched a series of network attacks against Xbox Live and Sony's PSN network. The attacks were so ferocious and long-lasting that new and existing gamers during the Christmas holidays were unable to login for hours or even days at a time, drawing ire from the international gaming community.

The attackers also took down a number of other major sites and networks, including the Dept. of Defense's global satellite messaging system. A number of the group's hackers were later arrested by British authorities.

A Microsoft spokesperson did not immediately return a phone call requesting comment.