Two alleged members of Lizard Squad arrested
Did you spend Christmas mildly annoyed because you bought a new console, only to find that Xbox Live/PlayStation Network had been downed by a “nefarious” group known as Lizard Squad? If so, you can revel in a bit of schadenfreude: Two alleged members have been arrested this week.
Lizard Squad came to prominence in 2014 after taking down (or at least claiming to take down) the online presences of numerous gaming companies, including Blizzard, Activision, and Sony, where their influence extended beyond hacking to making a mid-air bomb threat against a Sony executive in August leading to the scrambling of fighter jets.
Its biggest (or at least most noticeable) moment came just this past week though, when Lizard Squad launched simultaneous DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. On Christmas. And then offered to sell its own DDoS tool to others.
The first arrest was reported by Brian Krebs, who writes about security matters on his website Krebs On Security. On Monday he posted a bail document pertaining to one Vinnie Omari, a 22-year-old from Britain who is allegedly part of Lizard Squad. Omari later told website The Daily Dot, “they took everything”. The police raided Omari’s home on Monday and took his computers for evidence, though Omari is out on bail until his hearing in March.
To top it off, Finland’s National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) picked up another alleged member of Lizard Squad later in the week. The 17-year-old, known as ‘Ryan’, acted as spokesperson for the group in the aftermath of the Christmas attacks. Unlike Omari, Lizard Squad told The Washington Post that Ryan remains in jail.