One of the founding members of Lizard Squad Zachary Buchta has plead guilty and will be facing two years in a federal prison. Lizard Squad is the hacking group responsible for shutting down the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live in 2014. However, surprisingly enough, the charges have nothing to do with shutting down the gaming networks.
Buchta admitted in a plea agreement that he was a founding member of two hacker groups: Lizard Squad and PoodleCorp. Both hacking groups offered harassment services on “photobumber.net” where people could pay them to “phone bomb” other internet users. For $20, the hacking organizations would flood a phone number of your choosing with recorded messages. They were also responsible for stealing and selling the information of thousands of stolen payment cards.
The hacker plead guilty to “one count of conspiracy to commit damage to protected computers.” This charge normally carries a sentence of 10 years. However, Buchta, who once called the FBI “losers” in a screen name, continues to work with the FBI to gain a shorter sentence. Upon sentencing, prosecutors suggested a two and a half year sentence.
Among other things, Lizard Squad is famously known for bringing down the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live during the holiday season in 2014. That same year, Lizard Squad took responsibility for a fake bomb threat that diverted an American Airlines flight. John Smedley, the then president of Sony Online Entertainment, happened to be on the flight. Lizard’s obvious assault on Smedley continued with Daybreak Games as they targeted their servers with denial-of-service attacks.
Another member of Lizard Squad, Julius Kivimaki, was also recently charged with “more than 50,000 instances of cybercrime,” including swatting. Swatting is when a fake emergency situation is reported, resulting in heavily armed forces invading the victim’s address. He was convicted of his crimes in Finland in 2015.