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My childhood Christmases were magical times, and still hold dear in my memory for reuniting disparate families, facilitating mass eating and, most importantly, ensuring the arrival of the rarest of treats: the latest, freshly shrink-wrapped video game.
Since a brand new $60 title swiftly wiped out half my year’s allowance, Christmas was a godsend for cash-strapped gamers like me. I could barely wait ’til breakfast to pop my new acquisition in the console and play all day, which is why this news is so disheartening.
A hacker group calling themselves Phantom Squad have stated their intent to cancel Christmas, resolving to bring down Playstation Network and Xbox Live over the holidays.
Phantom Squad recently took credit for Reddit’s temporary blackout earlier in the week. The site’s takedown could have been the result of a denial of service (DDoS) attack, though this has not yet been confirmed. The hacker group could conceivably use the same method to target online gaming services, thereby denying gamers the pleasure of playing with their friends this Christmas.
As disgruntled gamers will no doubt recall, last year saw the blackout of both the PlayStation and Xbox networks, taking both consoles offline for an extended period.
A 17-year-old known as Zeekill, a member of the Lizard Squad hacking group, was found guilty of 50,700 offenses related to the incident and was given a two-year suspended sentence.
Both parents and children were angered by the attack, leading to the trending hashtag #christmasruined. Let’s just hope this year is more cheerful and game-filled than last.