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. Close to six months later, a Finnish teenager who claimed responsibility for the cyber attack was convicted of more than 50,000 instances of cybercrime, including the attack on Xbox Live.
According to Variety, British law-enforcement officials have arrested six male teenagers, ranging from fifteen years old to eighteen years old, suspected of utilizing Lizard Squad’s website attack tool called Lizzard Stresser — Lizard Squad was responsible for the attacks on Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network in 2014.
The United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency stated that this group of teens recently used a tool to launch a distributed denial of service attack to cripple online gaming servers, as well as e-retailers, a national British newspaper, and a school. These new arrests are related to the Xbox Live attack from last year, according to the report.
These teens attempted to be sneaky by purchasing the tool using Bitcoin, in an attempt to avoid being caught. The National Crime Agency (NCA) was able to track down the teens who purchased the tool for launching denial of service attacks.
“This multi-agency operation illustrates the commitment of the NCA and its partners to pursuing people who think they can criminally disrupt important public services or legitimate businesses,” said Tony Adams, head of investigations for the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit.
“One of our key priorities is to engage with those on the fringes of cyber criminality, to help them understand the consequences of cyber crime and how they can channel their abilities into productive and lucrative legitimate careers,” Adams stated.
The Lizard Squad 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 attacks. These kinds of 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.
Editor’s note: The original story on Variety magazine incorrectly indicated that these teens were members of Lizard Squad. While that hasn’t been proven yet, we’ve updated the story to mention that these teens were arrested for utilizing the Lizard Stresser tool to take down several online services.Further reading: Lizard Squad, Microsoft, PSN, Security, Xbox Live