By now, you’ve probably heard of Lizard Squad, especially if you were a casualty in the DDoS attacks on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network in 2014. Since then, Finland convicted Julius Kivimaki of over 50,000 counts of cyber-crime, including harassment, fraud, and data breaches. Wednesday, two 19-year-old men, Zachary Buchta of Fallston, Md., and Bradley Jan Willem van Rooy of Leiden, the Netherlands, were charged in Chicago with conspiring to cause damage to protected computers. The charge carries a 10-year maximum sentence in prison.
Both operated under the monikers of “Lizard Squad” and “PoodleCorp,” and did way more than just inconvenience gamers over the 2014 holiday. The investigation began after authorities discovered phonebomber.net, a website that allowed paying customers to send repeated harassing phone calls from spoof numbers to the target of their choice. Soon after came thousands denial-of-service attacks and attacks that targeted various companies in the gaming, entertainment, and media sphere. Lizard Squad made even bigger waves when it hacked Taylor Swift’s Twitter account. According to the criminal complaint, Buchta and van Rooy also conspired with other members of Lizard Squad to run cyber-attack-for-hire websites and trafficked stolen payment card account information for thousands of victims.
In addition,the federal court in Chicago ordered the seizure of four domain names it believes are highly connected with the illegal activities outlined above, such as shenron.lizardsquad.org, lizardsquad.org, stresser.poodlecorp.org, and poodlecorp.org.
Remember, this will need to go to court to decide if Buchta and van Rooy are guilty, and a sentence will be given based on that finding.
For more information, you can read up on the official press release.
[Source: Department of Justice]
Lizard Squad kept raising suspicion, but then they started targeting high-profile celebrities and companies, so it’s no surprise that an investigation had been launched. While this still needs to go to trial for a verdict, at least things are getting addressed by the court. Time will tell where it all leads.