Two teenagers belonging to the hacker group Lizard Squad, which was responsible for the downtime suffered by both Xbox Live and PlayStation Network in late 2014, were charged with cyber crimes this week.
The news was announced in a press release (via Polygon) from the Department of Justice, revealing that Zachary Buchta and Bradley Jan Willem van Rooy were charged with conspiring to damage protected computers. Buchta and van Rooy, both 19 years old, were arrested in September, with Buchta being taken into custody in Maryland. Van Rooy remains in custody in the Netherlands.
The charges come after an investigation by US authorities into a website that allowed people to pay to have harassing phone calls made to a target. One such case of this saw a person in Illinois receive threatening calls every hour for 30 days. Lizard Squad also launched distributed denial-of-service attacks, better known as DDoS attacks, on unspecified “gaming, entertainment, and media companies.”
Xbox Live and PSN were famously brought offline on and around Christmas in 2014, with Lizard Squad claiming responsibility for the attack on Twitter. Around a month later, a hacking tool sold by the group was itself hacked, revealing the names of more than 14,000 people who had signed up to use it.
Other arrests related to the 2014 DDoS attack were made in the UK in August 2015.