DDoS group Phantom Squad threatens to take down Xbox LIVE and PSN on Christmas

Looks like we've got ourselves a Lizard Squad copycat.

A new group of DDoS (distributed denial of service) "hackers" have threatened to take down Xbox LIVE and PlayStation Network on Christmas, mirroring a similar attack last year that prevented gamers around the world from enjoying their newly opened gifts and accessing games online.

The group, which goes by the name "Phantom Squad," has already claimed responsibility for a number of gaming-related outages, including PlayStation Network (PSN), Xbox LIVE, Grand Theft Auto Online (the online component of GTA 5), and other online games. None of the companies responsible for managing these online networks and games have confirmed the DDoS attacks, but it's worth noting that Microsoft at least acknowledged issues with Xbox LIVE around the time Phantom Squad claimed responsibility.

The group also posted video proof of its cyber attacks. 

Most recently, Phantom Squad had claimed responsibility for taking Reddit offline.

Reddit was offline for a brief period earlier today, and according to the Reddit status website, the problem was due to some of its databases coming "under extreme load," which could have been caused by a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack — the most popular method used to bring down gaming networks.

Though the names are similar, Phantom Squad doesn't appear to be related to Lizard Squad, the group responsible for a series of DDoS attacks on Xbox LIVE, PSN, and other online gaming networks that took place all throughout last winter. In fact, Phantom Squad even threatened to "declare war" on Lizard Squad if one of their tweets received 100 retweets.

It's been over a year since Xbox LIVE and PSN have been hit with constant DDoS attacks that rendered the online networks inaccessible; but, hopefully Microsoft and Sony have learned from the previous incidents. One would think with all of the money we spend every month on these services, at least some of the dollars would be allocated to prevent these sort of cyber attacks.

Answering the big question why they do these DDoS attacks on gaming networks, Phantom Squad tweeted:

Even well-known gamer Kim Dotcom, who helped stopped last year's attacks by promising to give Lizard Squad 3,000 accounts on his encrypted upload service Mega, warned Microsoft and Sony.

Let's hope they heeded his advice. Otherwise it's going to be a very blue Christmas for many gamers.