A 22-year-old man arrested by police investigating cyber-fraud offences in 2013-14 has been linked to the Lizard Squad hacking group thought to be behind the attacks on Sony’s PlayStation Network and Microsoft’s Xbox Live gaming services over Christmas.
The unnamed man from Twickenham was arrested in a raid on his home by the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU) before being released on bail.
“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.
Independent security researcher Brian Krebs claimed the arrested man was Vinnie Omari, posting what appeared to be a copy of Omari’s bail notice after having alleged that the 22-year-old was part of the Lizard Squad hacking group.
“Sources tell KrebsOnSecurity that Vinnie is one of many individuals associated with this sad little club who are being rounded up and questioned,” said Krebs in a blog post.
“They took everything, Xbox One, phones, laptops, computer USBs, etc,” Omari allegedly told the Daily Dot in an email revealing the search warrant issued by Reading magistrates court but failing to elaborate on the charges and alleged crimes in 2013.
The Lizard Squad, described as “a band of young hooligans” by Krebs, has been linked with a series of high-profile distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. These attacks prevent legitimate users of services such as Sony’s PlayStation Network from connecting to them by bombarding them with bogus connections, overloading the service and effectively taking it offline often until the attack ceases.
The group recently launched a DDoS tool that could allow anyone to conduct similar attacks on targets of their choosing, costing between $6 (£3.85) and $500 per attack paid via the bitcoin cryptocurrency.
This article was written by Samuel Gibbs, for theguardian.com on Thursday 1st January 2015 11.44 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010