Two major console gaming networks knocked offline for Christmas Day and much of Boxing Day by hackers, according to widespread reports.

The Guardian reports that the disruption is ongoing: “The network outages, which have left millions of users unable to play games and access entertainment channels, are continuing into a second day.

“Sony said on Friday that some users were having trouble logging into its network and engineers were investigating. Microsoft said it knew some users were having trouble signing in. “We’re aware of this issue and we’re working to find a fix ASAP”.

At the time of writing, the Playstation Network status was listed as simply 'offline', while Xbox Live status is set to limited, with IGN, Maxim and MLG TV services listed as likely to be undergoing disruption.

Several news outlets report that a group known as the Lizard Squad has claimed responsibility for the outages on Twitter, and  (according to Slashgear) are “practically holding the services hostage.” It's suspected that the outages are the result of a DDoS attack, but neither Sony nor Microsoft has confirmed this.

Both Playstation Network and Xbox Live were expecting millions of gamers to login over the holiday period, and both networks were preparing for  particularly heavy use as new games and new consoles were unwrapped and hooked up for the first time.

Microsoft Xbox spokesman Sean McCarthy told the Guardian on Xmas eve, “Of course it’s safe to say holiday season is always a very busy time of year for any consumer electronics company, so we work hard to ensure the stability of our infrastructure when so many consoles are activating for the first time.”