On Christmas day, December 25th, 2014, an infamous self-proclaimed cyber-terrorist group called "Lizard Squad" decided to take down both Microsoft’s Xbox Live and Sony’s PlayStation Network, marking the organization's largest attack. Over six months later, a Finnish teenager who claimed responsibility for the cyber attack has been convicted of more than 50,000 instances of cyber crime, including the attack on Xbox Live on Christmas day.
17-year-old Julius Kivimaki, known by his online alias "zeekill" was part of the Lizard Squad group who caused havoc during that time. He will face a two-year suspended prison sentence and a requirement to speak out against cyber crime.
The group is infamously known for taking down both Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network on Christmas day last year, which resulted in the arrest of two members. In our exclusive interview with Lizard Squad (which you can read here), they admitted that the motivation behind last years attack was simply done for their amusement at first, until they started pursuing a “real cause” which was to prove that internet giants like Microsoft and Sony cannot protect their customers and therefore cannot be trusted to securely hold private information.
Lizard Squad initiated the December 25th attack through denial-of-service (DDos). DDoS attacks typically overpower networks with too much traffic, causing the networks to overload and shutdown. The attacks on Xbox Live and Playstation networks left millions of gamers unable to login and play online.
Lizard Squad noted during our interview that they could take down NASDAQ if they wanted to damage the economy, but stated that it was not their goal; they jokingly refer to themselves as terrorists, but do not feel they are on that level of notorious mischief. Lizard Squad was eventually interviewed by other media outlets after the fact, including Sky News, which you can watch below.
Kim Dotcom, a self-proclaimed hacker and internet entrepreneur known for his Mega cloud storage service, offered special vouchers as a peace offering and Lizard Squad happily accepted it -- making Kim Dotcom the saviour of Christmas 2014. The deal involved an undisclosed amount of lifetime Mega memberships with 500GB of storage. Lizard Squad terminated their attacks and disappeared. UK and Finnish authorities made arrests soon after the cyber attacks took place, including arresting 22-year-old alleged Lizard Squad member Vinnie Omari.
No word on the status of the other members involved in the attacks. Should Kivimaki have received a worse sentence for his crimes? Were you affected by the Christmas 2014 Xbox Live outage? Let us know in the comments below.