During the 2014 holiday season, a hacker group known as Lizard Squad attacked Playstation Network and Xbox Live disrupting thousands of accounts and shutting down both services. The group claimed responsibility via Twitter shortly after the attack was initiated. This week two members of Lizard Squad, Zachary Butchta and Bradley Jan Willem van Rooy, were arrested for cyber crimes after US authorities investigated a website where people paid to have harrassing phone calls made to specific targets. When investigating further, authorities discovered Lizard Squad’s involvement with the website which subsequently lead to the arrests.
The news was announced in a press release conference through Polygon by the Department of Justice that both 19 year olds were charged with conspiring to damage protected computers. Butcha was taken into custody in Maryland while Van Rooy remain in custody in the Netherlands. A month after the attack in 2014 the hacking tool used by the group was bought and hacked itself revealing the names of more than 14,000 users. Other subsequent arrests were made in the UK in August 2015.
Let it be known that as humanity evolved, crime evolved with it. With horrible events like the attack in 2014 affecting how gaming privacy is managed, this shows that even though criminals now hide behind a screen of animosity, we at least know steps are being taken to prevent similar attack in the future and punish those responsible to the fullest extent of the law, securing gamers’ identity and gaming culture for future players to come.