Two members of noted hacking group Lizard Squad, the same group responsible for the PSN and Xbox Live outage of Christmas Day 2014, have been arrested.
Christmas Day 2014 was anything but perfect for many gamers who were hoping to celebrate the occasion with a little online gaming on their shiny new console but were instead met with error messages after a DDoS attack from Lizard Squad crippled both Xbox Live and PSN. However, those same disappointed gamers can rest a little easier, albeit two years later, knowing two members of Lizard Squad are now headed to jail.
It’s important to note that the two Lizard Squad members are not directly tied to the Christmas PSN and Xbox Live outage. They are simply known members of the hacker group, who did take credit for the DDoS attack in 2014 and many other game-related online service outages.
The individuals in question are Zachary Buchta of Fallston, Maryland and Bradley Jan Willem Van Rooy of Leiden, the Netherlands, who were brought in on charges of conspiring to damage computers. Both Buchta and Willem Van Rooy are teenagers.
The two Lizard Squad members are the latest “casualties” in a war against cyber terrorism that started with an investigation into LS’s phone harassment service. Essentially, people would pay the hacker group to set up an automated call that would contact a person “every hour for thirty days.” That alone is grounds for a serious investigation, and finally some government authorities agreed.
For those who might not remember or have been affected by the events of Christmas Day 2014 here’s a quick recap. In the late afternoon both Xbox and PlayStation gamers began reporting problems connecting to online services, which can be a huge problem if the consoles were just acquired as a holiday gift. Without the ability to download day one patches or console software updates, players were left with limited options – basically to play their games in a launch day state. And as most know, today’s games rarely launch without a day one patch, and usually that patch fixes some known problems.
Eventually things did return to normal after the downtime, but not before Lizard Squad came forward as a group to claim responsibility. Over time some Lizard Squad members were arrested, but no one knows if all of the culprits were caught.
Again, neither of the two individuals apprehended this week are directly connected to the Christmas Day 2014 outages, but the fact that government agencies are cracking down on Lizard Squad decreases the likelihood that something similar could happen again. But, unfortunately, there is always still the possibility of a hacker group stepping in to fill the void left by Lizard Squad and regularly shutting down the online services of popular games. Someone always wants to rain on the parade of those having fun, and that’s never going to change.