If you got a brand-new PlayStation 4 for Christmas, you probably noticed that setting it up was somewhere between "difficult" and "impossible." That's because a malicious attack took PlayStation Network (PSN) more or less offline for the long holiday weekend. The service is now just about up and running again, just in time for most people to end their vacations and get back to work.
Sony is documenting its progress in addressing the PSN outage on the PlayStation Blog, and matters are definitely winding down now. The company confirms that PSN suffered from "artificially high levels of traffic designed to disrupt connectivity," which is a nice way of saying "a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack." The outage affected PS3, PS4 and PS Vita consoles.
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Lizard Squad, a prominent online trolling community, has claimed responsibility for the attack, as well as a similar attack on Xbox Live that started on Christmas. The group's reasoning appeared to be that since many people would receive Xbox Ones and PS4s for Christmas, the best way to sow chaos would be to make the devices unusable right out of the box (both of them require an online connection for initial setup).
Microsoft resolved Xbox Live's issues fairly quickly, while PSN took a few more days to follow suit. Lizard Squad wound down its attacks after receiving a peace offering of 3,000 online vouchers for file-sharing site Megaupload from its founder, Kim Dotcom. It just goes to show that even online trolls have a price.
For those still experiencing PSN outages, Sony recommends that you reboot the console and try signing into the service again. Personally, I can vouch that disabling the Internet connection in the PS4's settings menu will let single-player games run without issue. But that doesn't do much good if you want to use your new console to play with friends and family.