A 17 year old boy has been convicted of 50,700 computer crimes with some of the charges related to the crippling attacks that temporarily took down the PlayStation and Xbox gaming networks in December 2014, reported the Daily Dot citing Finnish newspaper Kaleva.
The teenager named Julius Kivimaki is said to be a key member of the infamous Lizard Squad, a hacking gang notorious for causing havoc by disrupting several networks on the internet. Julius “zeekill” Kivimaki was sentenced to a two-year suspended sentence and was subsequently “ordered to fight against cybercrime,” according to several news outlets in the Finnish media.
Going by the hacker-name “zeekill”, Kivimaki also faced charges of data breaches, telecommunication harassments and felony payment fraud, according to the Finnish newspaper.
The 17-year old will avoid time in prison, independent sources have confirmed.
International headlines were made when Microsoft’s XBOX Live and Sony’s PlayStation Network were taken down for several days during last year’s Christmas period. The gaming networks experienced connectivity and functionality issues on Christmas Eve at the very beginning, before they were shut down by the hackers for several days altogether.
Hacking gang Lizard Squad took credit for the attacks in a series of tweets after unleashing a massive DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack on the gaming networks. Brian Krebs, a cybersecurity expert helped identify Kivimaki as a key member of the Lizard Squad who lead the cyber-attack.
A history of shenanigans
The Finnish paper noted that the teenager had been hacking illegally since the age of 15.
In April earlier this year, Kivimaki was implicated for another cybercrime. The target this time was a 20-year old American, Blair Strater. The entire Strater family was at the receiving end of a number of bullying incidents facilitated by Kivimaki.
One reported incident of harassment included Kivimaki calling in fake threats to American law enforcement, a practice known as ‘swatting.’ This resulted in SWAT teams arriving at the Strater residence after paying heed to the false call. The Strater family has been the victim of identity theft and disruption to their finances and personal lives for three years due to Kivimaki’s harassment, Strater said.
Speaking to the Daily Dot, Blair Strater added: “He’s harmed American targets and the FBI should have stepped in by now. The reality is, Julius Kivimaki will never be made to pay for his crimes.”
Strater said that he was “absolutely disgusted” that Kivimaki had avoided jail.