A seventeen year old member of the hacker collective Lizard Squad has plead guilty to 23 accounts of swatting.
Swatting, the act of calling the police with a false claim that an emergency situation is still in progress in hopes that a victim’s house will be raided by law enforcement, has become a popular form of online harassment that bleeds into the offline world. These police raids are often violent, as the pranksters usually lead law enforcement to believe that force is needed to deescalate the situation. This member of the Lizard Squad specifically harassed League of Legend players. According to Tri-City News, after being unable to connect with LoL players, the hacker would post their personal information online (including date of birth, credit card numbers and social insurance numbers), deactivate their internet connection or order unwanted pizzas to their homes before ultimately calling the police to have them swatted.
Perhaps most egregiously, the member of Lizard Squad spent months harrasing a University student from Tuscon, Arizona. He had the young woman swatted once, only to do it again five days later when her mother was visiting. He is reported to have bragged about doing it on Twitter. A month later he would post online the credit card information of the woman, and proceed to send her 218 text messages, simultaneously. He would latter hack her twitter account and her university email address, and the Guardian claims that this harassment caused the woman to drop out of her University. The teen would continue to attempt to cancel the utilities of the woman’s family and attempted to subscribe her to a $500 per month phone contract.
Over the past year the hacker collective Lizard squad has been growing their reputation online in a rather negative way. They were responsible for bringing down PSN and Xbox live on numerous occasions (notably on Christmas day), much to the irritation of gamers worldwide. Towards the end of 2014 Lizard Squad claimed responsibility for taking North Korea off the internet for about a day. They also defaced many websites, including replacing the main page of Malaysian Airlines with a comical ‘404 plane not found’ page, as well as hacking and defacing the Lenovo website in reaction to their Scandal with the Superfish spyware.
Due to the age of the Lizard Squad member, his real name is being kept confidential. Online, he went by the handle ‘obnoxious’. You can’t make these things up.