Last Christmas, both Xbox Live and PlayStation Network faced lengthy outages in the wake of DDoS attacks. Now, one of the hackers who carried out the breach has been sentenced in his native Finland — but only for cybercrimes committed before the offence at Christmas.
Lizard Squad member Julius ‘zeekill’ Kivimaki was handed a two-year suspended sentence and ordered to help combat cybercrime rather than perpetrate it. Many have expressed disappointment at how lenient the Finnish courts seem to have been, but it’s important to stress that this ruling does not include the Christmas attack.
Instead, Kivimaki is being found guilty of some 50,700 other charges of cybercrime. These include data breaches, felony payment fraud and telecommunications harassment, according to a report by The Daily Dot. The seventeen-year-old is also thought to have engaged in ‘swatting’ activities.
With Kivimaki being given a comparable light sentence for this laundry list of offences, it will certainly be interesting to see what sort of punishment is doled out when the Christmas attacks are inspected in court. While 50,700 charges is certainly a large rap sheet in its own right, the 2014 outages affected millions of users worldwide.
The scale of the attacks is one reason that the offences might be handled differently, but there’s also the fact that major corporations like Microsoft and Sony were targeted. Companies with global interests typically have robust legal departments, and it seems likely that they will be called upon to bring Lizard Squad to justice.
Sony was forced to extend users subscriptions and offer discounts as an apology for the PSN outages last Christmas. The company took that financial hit to keep players happy in a difficult situation, but pursuing prosecution for the hackers who carried out the attack would seem like the most obvious way of deterring future copycats.
As gaming systems and their online services become more and more intertwined, this sort of crime is only going to become more of a talking point. We’re already seeing an increase in the number of releases that require an Internet connection to function, and those titles would obviously be useless in the event of a large-scale breach.
Cybercrime is a very real issue in the modern world, and it’s going to take some time for courts around the world to understand it well enough to prosecute appropriately. A two-year suspended sentence might seem like a light punishment for some 50,700 charges — but it’s difficult to say what’s right and wrong for a set of crimes that wouldn’t have been possible even a decade ago.
Source: The Daily Dot