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Teenagers Collared for Using Lizard Squad DDoS Tool

Police from around the UK, working with the country's National Crime Agency (NCA), have arrested six teenagers in connection with the ‘malicious deployment’ of Lizard Squad DDoS tool LizardStresser.

The software, provided by the notorious hacking collective, takes target sites down for up to eight hours in return for payment. The teenagers in question, all male and aged between 15 and 18, used 'alternative' payment systems like bitcoin to pay for the services, the NCA said, as part of a bid to secure their anonymity.

Among the businesses said to be affected by LizardStresser DDoS attacks – which flood target servers with traffic, knocking services offline – are a national newspaper, a school, gaming companies and online retailers.

The NCA made the arrests in collaboration with regional and local police forces across the UK, and will also visit a further 50 addresses of youngsters who have signed up with LizardStresser, but not apparently used it yet.

The NCA’s efforts are part of a campaign to intercept youngsters who, it is believed, are on the brink of straying into a life of crime perpetrated online.

Those who receive a knock on the door from the police will get a stiff warning about the illegality of DDoS attacks, and the potential judicial penalties that could result from such activity, including a ban on internet or computer access.

The NCA’s head of cybercrime investigations Tony Adams, said: “By paying a comparatively small fee, tools like LizardStresser can cripple businesses financially and deprive people of access to important information and public services.

“This multi-agency operation illustrates the commitment of the NCA and its partners to pursuing people who think they can criminally disrupt important public services or legitimate businesses.”  

“One of our key priorities is to engage with those on the fringes of cyber criminality, to help them understand the consequences of cybercrime and how they can channel their abilities into productive and lucrative legitimate careers.” 

Lizard Squad has hit headlines in recent months for a string of high profile attacks, including against popular Xbox and PlayStation gaming platforms.

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