uh-oh-always-offline

Though nothing has been officially confirmed, it certainly seems like the Xbox LIVE servers are down. There are rumors circulating on forums and on Twitter that the service has been hacked, though nothing official has been stated by Microsoft.

As of 6 p.m. EST, I am unable to log into my LIVE account via the console or the web based dashboard (as shown above).

I came home with a fresh (and used) copy of Halo 4, excited to test out the Forge multiplayer map editor. Unfortunately, I couldn’t log in. Hopped off my couch to see if it was a subscription issue, but soon realized that wasn’t the case either. A quick search on the web and it was clear I wasn’t the only one having this problem.

Here’s a glimpse of what’s being said on Twitter:

Don’t worry about Xbox Live being down! It’s not like your Xbox needs to be constantly connected to it in order to function! @CVG_News

I feel like Xbox live being down is a sign… @mattreeee

Xbox Live is down? Don’t worry guys, this clearly won’t happen with the Nextbox. Clearly. @LikChan

The weather sucks, and xbox live is down…..#Nice @NMuchard

Down is one thing, but being hacked is something completely different. The image below (which I saw being retweeted) has some believing the service has been taken down by Anonymous.

xbox-live-hacked

Anonymous hacked Xbox Live apparently yes yes yes this is fantastic @alrightjosh

Apparently #xboxlive was hacked and is currently down.  Be sure to change your password and enable multifactor authentication! @strangemagicbus

ANONYMOUS HACKED XBOX LIVE! @PsychoHorak

Apparently anonymous hacked Xbox live and that’s why it’s not working I hope that’s not true :/ @DaleyBiebsSwift

So was it hacked? In short, highly unlikely.

An attack on several high-profile Xbox LIVE was confirmed by Microsoft back in March, so the scenario of a hack is not that unbelievable, however, based on the accessibility limitations specific to this incident, it seems far fetched. A more plausible explanation to what is taking place is a server outage. Still annoying, but far less frightening. And if this was a hack (which I don’t believe it was), there isn’t so much as a peep regarding it from the Anonymous associated Twitter account, making their involvement uncharacteristically doubtful.

In addition, a YouTube video was passed to me a few minutes ago. It contains what is being claimed as a message from Anonymous stating the following:

“Many members of Anonymous are gamers or respect the conditions of gaming and find the use of hacking online gameplay or accounts completely unethical and counterproductive. We have therefore decided to target the Xbox LIVE hackers and perpetrators themselves. If you’re a hacker who thinks taking over someones account during Modern Warfare is leet, then we will show you the reality of cyber warfare.”

You will find many posts of the video dated today (timely) but the original message was posted over a month ago. Here is the full video:

Update: The only response we have as of right now is from the Xbox LIVE Support Twitter, which states the following:

LIVE service alert affecting sign-in http://xbx.lv/r0tXNK . Apologies, we may not be able to reply to all outage-related tweets today! ^EM @XboxSupport

and then a few minutes later:

For updates on the current issues with LIVE, check http://xbx.lv/r0tXNK  We’re working as fast as we can. Thx 4 patience! ^LB @XboxSupport

Update #2: As of 6:35 p.m. EST I was able to log back into my Xbox LIVE account, however it would seem that the issue is still widespread and effecting countless other customers. If you are still effected, please leave a comment below.

Update #3: The servers seem to be back online and fully functional. According to reports, the servers initially went down around 3 p.m. EST. No reason for the outage was given. The latest statement by Xbox Support can be seen below:

4/11/2013 12:19:51 PM PDT:

If you were one of the members who was having issues signing in to Xbox LIVE, good news! This issue has been fixed! Thank you so much for your patience during this time, feel free to go enjoy your favorite games and content!

Update #4: Servers are back up but XBL members are still having problems with the service. The most recent statement from Xbox Support admits to message, friend list, and party issues which are still present.

4/13/2013 4:34:32 PM PDT:

We are aware of an issue members are having sending and receiving messages, seeing friend’s statuses, sending or receiving game and party invites, and accepting friend requests on Xbox LIVE. We are currently working as fast as we can to get this issue fixed, thank you for your patience during this time and we will update you with any new information we receive.

If your friend list has vanished, you are not alone. The question has been posed to Xbox Support via Twitter and this is their response:

We don’t know the “why”, but we are working on sorting it out as we speak http://xbx.lv/r0tXNK  @XboxSupport

Update #5: The previous statement regarding the friends list, messaging, and party issues has now been removed from the site without so much as an update. I checked Twitter to see if they issued a statement there and there was nothing. This can be taken one of two ways. Either these issues have been resolved or they decided not to update us on them any further and moved on to other pressing issues. I reached out to them on Twitter and asked for clarification.

@XboxSupport any update on this? The statement on the status page has been removed. Does that mean these issues have been resolved? @chadlakkis

No response yet.

As for the additional issues I hinted at above, the latest statement from Xbox Support lists two new ones:

Users may experience difficulties with the following services:

  • Posting or viewing entries in the LIVE forums

Affecting the following LIVE Platforms:

  • Xbox.com

4/13/2013 7:04:29 PM PDT:

We’ve received reports of members being unable to access the forums on Xbox.com. We are aware of the problem and are currently working on fixing the issue. Check back here in 30 minutes for an update on our progress.

Also, while not officially noted on their status page, there are customers on Twitter stating that they are unable to connect with Smartglass.

Update #6: Microsoft responded to an inquiry posed by Game Informer late last night confirming my assumption that this in fact was not a hack. They told the outlet that the outage was due to routine scheduled maintenance and that any report of a hack is false.

As far as the outage related issues go, Xbox Support is not out of the woods yet. There are still some remnant Minecraft related bugs that remain dating back to April 11th as well as the following note from today:

Users may experience difficulties with the following services:

  • Managing friends lists and tracking what friends are doing

Affecting the following LIVE Platforms:

  • Games for Windows LIVE
  • Windows 8
  • Windows Phone
  • Xbox 360 Console

4/14/2013 9:33:36 AM PDT:

Are you experiencing issues accessing your friends list? That’s not good, but we are aware of the trouble and are actively investigating to bring back your socialite potential! While we work, go download your profile again and reboot your Xbox and then be sure to check back in 30 minutes for another update. Thanks so much for your patience while we get this resolved.

I will continue to post information here as the story develops.

63 COMMENTS

  1. It has been 3 days (going on 4) for me, personally, that Microsoft has had “service alerts” going on. Even after their recent claim to have fixed it, I still cannot log into my account through my xbox, and the site won’t hardly work either. To say it’s been stressful would be modest. I recently got my gold back and they’ve spent these past few days wasting it. How much longer do they expect us to wait?

      • I do, in fact, live in the US. Why they had mine effected earlier, I have no idea. There was a small amount of people that had been hit around the same time as me with no explanation. Yet we had to suffer until it started effecting more people before they even tried to do anything about it. :I

  2. Its wrong xbox are quick to take money we’ll see how quick you compensate all us loyal people who pay for a service. Where’s our justice

    • Couldn’t have said it better. We spend hundreds of dollars on their stuff just to spend time with people we know and enjoy ourselves, but they can’t even repay any of that with good service. :I

      • @disqus_bxLwvwIzRV:disqus @twitter-41999758:disqus Seriously? How can you two be so self-righteous? Xbox is company made up of people who rely on servers like everyone else. And, like everyone else, sometime’s there’s down time. It has nothing to do with “justice”. There’s no betrayal here.

    • Microsoft is lying, it’s not back on. They’re just too cheap of a company to give you your rightful refund.

      • thats true i might just cancel my subscription and move on to ps3 unless they get the problem sorted because i got the ring of death and my xbox is ready to break

    • It’s still not working for me, either. But this is the second (or third?) time they’ve tried to assure us it’s functioning properly now. >_>

        • Yeah. They keep dragging it out and pretending it’s less than it is. Doesn’t make it any less frustrating that they keep saying everything is fixed, only to come up with a different kind of error or alert. Yuck.

  3. Why are you guys even using Xbox Live? You shouldn’t have to pay to play online. You do realize PC Multiplayer and Ps3 online multiplayer is free like its suppose to be? Microsoft is charging you money they shouldn’t be. :)

    • Personally, I have nothing against PC or PS3. The 360 was more or less the first thing I’d bought (my PC isn’t up to date, unfortunately), and by now I have too many friends on there to just move onto one of the others. D:

  4. The last time I tried signing in(about an hour ago I guess) I still couldn’t do it.. but looking at this apparently it’s back up..,? lol Guess I’ll check it out now. Still can’t believe how incredibly well timed this crap is xD This is the perfect way to advertise always on eh? Lol poor MS.

    • It could be that happened, and they’re trying to cover it up with false reassurances while they pick apart the pieces and try to regain control of the situation. But honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if they messed everything up all on their own, it wouldn’t be the first time and I guarantee it won’t be the last. I don’t mean to whine about it, but this is really frustrating and it’s been going on for much longer than it should have. A lot of people are unhappy with the situation. Who wouldn’t be?

  5. I think yjis is a clear message as to why the next gen consoles should not be online only, because if something like this happens again we wont even be able to access and play our games offline which will make a lot of people very pissed off.

  6. I feel compensation is indeed required.. I am not happy with this at all.. Im starting to question my service with them atm.. I have been with them since the beginning of their company..

  7. For those that are asking for a refund for days lost. You paid $60 for a year subscription which is about 16.4 cents a day. so go right ahead and ask for a refund. you all make it sound like 16 cents is big deal

    • Sorry to say this but Kevin it not just about the xbox live subscription. I couldn’t use netflix or hulu plus because I couldn’t sign into my xbox. And despite the fact that I have a tablet pc and could watch it through there my tablet is only 7 inches and I don’t like watching my show on there. When you have a problem like this it effects a lot more than just your paid subscription.

  8. i for one back xbox live. compensation would be nice i agree with that. i would like to know why the servers were down. i pay for a service and get that service daily no complaints here. would love for live to be back up and running.

  9. What the hell? I’ve been playing on Live and using Netflix all day with no problems! Was this just on the east coast or something?

  10. Oh I can’t wait until an always on net connection is needed to use an Xbox. The downtime will give me a chance to catch up on cleaning around the house.

  11. Anonymous is a joke. Just a bunch of script kiddies who like to act like they’re “hackers” because they can DDoS someone. Xbox LIVE wasn’t hacked, and the anony-tards who are claiming such, are morons who couldn’t hack their way through a piece of toilet tissue.

    • Hacked or not the outcome is pretty tangible for anyone who uses XBL. Thankfully I didn’t bother to replace my system after a RROD killed it last Spring. However I agree with you on Anon. Anon is the hacking equiv of a bunch of frat kids out looking for trouble on a Sat night. They aren’t some master criminal, just some idiot kids causing problems for anyone they run across.

  12. I’m UK based and I started having problems with XBL last night. My console will connect to xbox live without a profile but when I tried to sign in with my profile (Gold Membership), It disconnected me. I deleted my profile incase of a corruption in data and now I can’t download it. Made a new offline profile for the time being. Hope it gets fixed soon.

    Also this is the first time it’s happened to my profile so I’m not too mad.

  13. Or you could just go take a walk, get some excercise and stop complaining about a gaming system. If you want error free game play 100% of the time go buy a checker board.

  14. date:15/04/2013 08:59:07code:EEEEEEEE801553E0s:uIAvjy+k3hijQuhpCbad+w==id:eb3a3e5c-deab-4b0b-8dfd-7eab57df0335req:7b20fafe-8471-4fc0-8f92-ecdfeb63782fthis is what it comes up with

  15. Uh oh… that shouldn’t have happened.
    It appears you’ve found a glitch in the system.date:15/04/2013 08:59:07code:EEEEEEEE801553E0s:uIAvjy+k3hijQuhpCbad+w==id:eb3a3e5c-deab-4b0b-8dfd-7eab57df0335req:7b20fafe-8471-4fc0-8f92-ecdfeb63782f

  16. I hope it was hacked and down for 4 months then the xbox fanboys can stop saying xbox is better because the psn was hacked.

  17. and this is why paying for consecultive days of XBL is BS. We pay for each day, no matter if we login or not. If service goes down for a day, two, three? Well we pay for those days too, no refund. Suck it M$

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