Lizard Squad Hacker Arrested In London

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

A man linked to the Lizard Squad has been arrested amid reports of a second arrest in Finland

A man linked to the Lizard Squad hacking group that targeted the Xbox and PS3 networks on Christmas day has been arrested.

The Lizard Squad had claimed responsibility for the denial-of-service attacks on Sony’s PlayStation Network and Microsoft’s Xbox Live gaming networks, which disrupted millions of online gamers throughout the Christmas period.

Hacker, programmer, cyber crime, keyboard, computer © scyther5, Shutterstock 2014London Arrest

One unnamed individual linked to the Lizard Squad was arrested by police in Twickenham, South West London, reports said.

The house of the 22 year-old man was apparently raided by the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU), which seized his Xbox One, phones, laptops, computer USBs and other electronic devices.

But it seems that his arrest was not in relation to the DoS attack on Sony and Microsoft, but rather concerned earlier fraud offences against PayPal.

“The arrest is in connection with an ongoing investigation into cyber-fraud offences which took place between 2013 and August 2014 during which victims reported funds being stolen from their PayPal accounts,” Thames Valley police said in a statement on behalf of SEROCU.

The man was arrested on suspicion of fraud by false representation and Computer Misuse Act offences – and has since been bailed until 10 March.

Independent security researcher Brian Krebs used a blog posting to identify the arrested man as Vinnie Omari. The youth is reportedly is a student of network security and ethical hacking, and claims he is simply a spokesman for Lizard Squad. Omari denied he was involved in the recent attack on Sony and Microsoft.

Omani confirmed his arrest to the Daily Mail, and said via email:‎ ‘I’m on bail’. He added that he does not have a court date, contrary to reports in other publications.

Finland Arrest

Lizard Squad came to prominence in 2014 after taking down the online presences of numerous gaming companies, including Blizzard, Activision, and Sony.

It also carried out a bomb threat against a Sony executive in August. A Twitter user named “LizardSquad”, which had claimed responsibility for the attack, and then began posting comments related to Iraq’s ISIS and the “Islamic State”. He tweeted that there might be “explosives” on board a plane carrying a Sony executive. The flight from Dallas to San Francisco was diverted to Phoenix, Arizona.

And it seems that a second Lizard Squad member has also been nabbed by authorities. Finland’s National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) reportedly arrested a 17-year-old, known as “Ryan,” who had acted as spokesperson for the group in the aftermath of the Christmas attacks. The Lizard Squad told The Washington Post that Ryan remains in jail, unlike Omari.

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