Subscribe To Those Responsible For The 2014 Holiday Hack Have Been Arrested Updates
Folks who had their holidays ruined a couple of years ago might finally see a little justice prevail as it was announced yesterday that two members of the hacker group Lizard Squad have been arrested in connection to attacks on both Sony and Microsoft's servers.
Back in 2014, both the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live were brought down due to distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDoS). Basically, they overload the servers and, boom, nobody can play Call of Duty or Destiny on Christmas morning. While technically not a hack, it certainly sent both Sony and Microsoft reeling, as well as an unknowable number of common folks who just wanted to enjoy their new consoles and games through the holidays.
In the past, folks who have been arrested attached to similar attacks have received little more than a slap on the wrist, despite the fact that they are breaking the law, impacting hundreds of thousands of people and effectively stealing money from publishers and game developers since their services can't run and their games can't be sold.
According to a press release from United States Attorney's Office, a pair of folks partially responsible for these actions, and potentially others, have been arrested. Both Zachary Buchta and Bradley Jan Willem Van Rooy have now been charged with "conspiring to damage protected computers." They are both 19 and, according to the report, were actually arrested in September in Maryland (Buchta) and the Netherlands (Van Rooy).
Believe it or not, this all started with something completely unrelated to the PlayStation and Xbox DDoS attacks. United States authorities were investigating a website wherein people could pay to have harassing phone calls made on people they wish to torment, because apparently humanity is the absolute worst. In the midst of all of that, Lizard Squads DDoS attacks came into play and, well, it sounds like the authorities have a lot of content to weed through.
As for Zachary Buchta, his first court appearance was scheduled for yesterday morning in Chicago. The release states that both teens are being charged with allegedly conspiring with their groups to "launch destructive cyber attacks around the world," as well as trafficking "payment accounts that had been stolen from unsuspecting victims in Illinois and elsewhere."
This is likely to be a long and drawn-out process, so we're not expecting to hear results anytime soon. We've got our fingers crossed that the appropriate action is taken. We appreciate there are far "worse" crimes out there but, if these types of crimes are ignored, you're only encouraging that they continue. Just think of the scale of the number of people affected and the number of dollars lost for developers, publishers and average gamers around the world. This isn't as "small" a crime as folks seem to believe.