Kim Dotcom manages to ‘save Christmas for gamers’ by bribing hackers

Kim Dotcom manages to ‘save Christmas for gamers’ by bribing hackers
Gamers frustrated with the Christmas DDoS attack on X-box and PlayStation networks may have to thank fugitive filesharing mogul Kim Dotcom for the service being back online. At least, that’s what their Twitter exchange implies.

Dotcom, the founder of the Megaupload filesharing service, who is wanted by the US for trial over copyright infringement related crimes, is an affluent videogamer often calling on others to join him for a session of the multiplayer shooter game, Destiny.

But on Friday, he along with millions of others couldn’t play – due to access problems with gaming networks operated by Sony and Microsoft for their consoles.

The frustrating glitch is apparently the work of a hacker team called the Lizard Squad, who claimed responsibility for launching a distributed denial of service attack on the tech firms. The online assault was timed for Christmas and prevented many gamers from trying new games received as gifts.

The team’s Twitter accounts have been altering between taunting angered gamers, demanding a ‘ransom’ of 100,000 retweets for bringing the service back online, and bragging about the amount of grief they have caused.

But apparently, unlike other gamers, Dotcom found he had something to offer – 3,000 lifetime premium vouchers of his relaunched Mega service. Lizard Squad accepted the offer and the attack was stopped.

However, although Microsoft XBL is back up and running, PlayStation is still down for many, as the disruption has dragged on into a second day.

Dotcom didn’t miss the chance to criticize the US government, saying his deal shows diplomacy works, suggesting Washington should try it out sometime.

The terms of the deal made public by Dotcom require Lizard Squad to leave Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network alone for good. Otherwise their vouchers will be canceled.

Dotcom, currently living in New Zealand, is engaged in legal battles with the US government to avoid extradition to stand trial. American law enforcement accuse him of causing millions of dollars’ worth of damage to entertainment companies through facilitating illegal distribution of their copyrighted content via Mega.

Since his troubles started, he has unsuccessfully tried to enter politics in New Zealand with the Internet Party he helped create and fund. Dotcom recently announced a US branch of the party may be created soon.