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Lizard Squad Hacker-Teens Arrested and Charged

Two teens in the group that hacked World of Warcraft, among other targets, have been arrested.

The two 19-year-olds, Zachary Buchta of Maryland and Bradley Han Willem Van Rooy of the Netherlands, are allegedly members of the Lizard Squad hacking group, which aims denial-of-service attacks at various victims, including gaming, entertainment and media companies, and relies on a massive network of compromised computers and devices, according to the complaint.

Game developer and publisher Blizzard Entertainment, maker of the mega-popular online game, World of Warcraft, in April experienced a DDoS attack that shut down a big swath of its games and servers. Lizard Squad claimed responsibility, and retweeted a post saying that an unidentified person broke into Blizzard’s employee database to lift phone numbers, emails and other sensitive information.

Federal authorities said that the two teens were allegedly operating cyber-attack-for-hire websites and are charged with conspiring to cause damage to protected computers. The conspiracy charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Buchta was arrested last month in Maryland and made an initial court appearance in Chicago this week; Dutch authorities arrested van Rooy last month and he remains in custody there.

In addition to the charges, a federal court in Chicago ordered the seizure of four domain names associated with the alleged conspiracy: shenron.lizardsquad.org, lizardsquad.org, stresser.poodlecorp.org and poodlecorp.org.

Lizard Squad initially drew the attention of U.S. authorities during an investigation into phonebomber.net, a website that enabled paying customers to select victims to receive repeated harassing phone calls from spoofed numbers, according to the complaint. One of the victims, who resided in Illinois, last fall received a phone call every hour for thirty days. When the victim answered the phone, an audio recording stated that the victim “better look over your [expletive] back because I don’t flying [expletive] if we have to burn your [expletive] house down, if we have to [expletive] track your [expletive] family down, we will [expletive] your [expletive] up [expletive].”

Buchta, who used the online screen names “@fbiarelosers,” “pein,” “xotehpoodle” and “lizard,” and van Rooy, who used the names “Uchiha,” “@UchihaLS,” “dragon” and “fox,” also conspired with other members of Lizard Squad to operate these kinds of websites that provided cyber-attack-for-hire services, facilitating thousands of denial-of-service attacks, and to traffic stolen payment card account information for thousands of victims, according to the complaint.

Photo © Thoai

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