Xbox Live and PlayStation alleged hacker was arrested by U.K. police on Monday for violating the Computer Misuse Act. The guy is said to be one of the members of the Lizard Squad, the group who admitted to be responsible for the complete and partial downtime of Xbox Live and PlayStation Network on Christmas. The group launched a distributed denial-of-service attacks against the gaming sites which overwhelmed too much traffic and made the sites inaccessible to millions of Xbox and PS console owners worldwide. The Lizard Squad group was said to have offered to sell their tools to those who want to turn off websites.
British law enforcement from the South East Regional Organized Crime Unit raided the home of Vinnie Omari, 22, and seized his phones, Xbox One, USBs and computers, and arrested him. The police announced the arrest on Wednesday, mentioning offenses that are computer-related. The short statement did not specify the Christmas cyber attacks, but Omari’s activities which appear in the arrest warrant published by Daily Dot mentioned the hacking of Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PSN gaming sites.
Omari was in a Sky News interview, commenting on the downtime of Xbox Live and PSN as a “security analyst.” Security blogger and journalist Brian Krebs identified him as a member of Lizard Squad. Reports of his arrest came from Krebs and from another Lizard Squad member @abdilo from Australia, who wrote that Vinnie is “vanned,” or being dragged by law enforcement.
The Xbox Live and PlayStation alleged hacker that was arrested on Monday was released on bail the following day. There were no charges filed against Omari, just alleged charges, he said. Omari has a court date on March 10.
Lizard Squad told WinBeta in an interview via an encrypted link in December, that while they did attack Xbox Live and PlayStation for fun, it shifted to bringing the attention of big firms to enhance their security measures. They said companies should be responsible for protecting their customers and should put more effort and investment in preventing cyber attacks, such as increasing bandwidth, hiring programmers with “hacking” skills, buying equipment and setting proper configuration.
However, a Lizard Squad member aliased “dragon” told Daily Dot that their attack on Xbox Live and PlayStation was a big marketing scheme for Lizard Stresser, a service that enables customers to use their technology to run DDoS attacks against any site. Service fee ranges from $6 to $500, depending on the attack duration. Facts about the group’s activities are still surfacing, but Krebs posted a blog about how the group operates. The group sent insulting tweets about Krebs as a response.
While an Xbox Live and PlayStation alleged hacker was arrested and released on bail this week, the FBI is said to be investigating another member of the Lizard Squad, a 16 or 17-year-old Finnish named “ryanc” or “ryan” for his involvement in the Xbox Live and PSN hack. Yle, a Finnish website reported about it earlier this week. However, a supposed Lizard Squad member tweeted on January 1, that their member, Finnish citizen “Ryan” has been arrested by the FBI at the Dallas Fort Worth airport. The tweet said Ryan was apprehended for his vast amount of card money while traveling in countries.
By Judith Aparri
Photo courtesy of Tim Reckmann – Flickr License