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FBI cracks down on hackers responsible for Xbox Live and PSN downtime


Lizard Squad member, Ryan

On 8 December 2014 the hacker group, Lizard Squad issued a threat to Microsoft and Sony, saying they will take Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network down over Christmas. They made good on the threat, and to the dismay of countless people, both services went down over Christmas. To compensate customers, Sony gave their subscribers five extra days of free subscription. For some Xbox Live subscribers, the service is still down on the Xbox 360. The DDoS attack is explained here via a Skype interview with Sky News by none other than an alleged Lizard Squad member. Hackers are supposed to keep their identities secret, right? Since Lizard Squad has decided to go public, the FBI has decided to start making arrests.

We know that the FBI is busy with an ongoing investigation into gaming related cyber terrorism, with the likes of #Gamergate also involved. Read more about that here and here. Arrests are rolling in as the FBI has cracked down on the first members of Lizard Squad. 22-year-old Vinnie Omari also revealed his identity via an interview on Sky News. Omari appeared on Sky News as a specialist on the Xbox Live and PSN downtime. "He was arrested in connection with an investigation into PayPal thefts, but the search warrant presented to Omari shows that police were planning to search his phones, computers, email accounts, and more in relation to the hacking of the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live systems over the Christmas period," reports The Verge. Another Lizard Squad member, 16-year-old Julius Kivimäki, who gave an interview alongside Omari to BBC News is also under investigation for credit card fraud. According to the FBI, Kivimäki, can be linked to the Christmas attacks on Xbox Live and PSN. The third Lizard Squad member, Ryan, who publicly acknowledged his involvement in the Christmas attacks via the Skype interview with Sky News is also under investigation.

An FBI spokesperson confirmed to Gamesbeat that they are investigating the attack on Xbox Live and the PSN. “The FBI is investigating the matter. Given the pending nature of the case, we cannot comment further.”

According to Lizard Squad's Twitter account, the arrest and investigation are all fun and games. I am curious as to why they've decided to expose their members to arrests by going public. Did they just underestimate the FBI, or was it deliberate because they want to be "martyrs" for the cause?

Lizard Squad.jpg 


What's your take on Lizard Squad? They justified bringing down Xbox Live and the PSN because;

  1. Gamers need to spend time with their families on Christmas and not play video games. (Ryan)
  2. Sony and Microsoft need to upgrade their security systems to prevent an attack. The poor security shows they are not protecting their customers.

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Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not MWEB Connect (Pty) Ltd

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