The gaming community’s worst citizens have reared their head again.
Lizard Squad is back in the limelight having DDoSed Daybreak Games, as well as doxxing some of their staff, sharing bank information, and even going so far as to post a bounty on desecrating the grave of what appears to be Daybreak CEO John Smedley’s father. People wonder why the Internet gets a bad reputation at times, it is these people who manage to conduct what is essentially cyber-terrorism and even claim to have worked with ISIS in the past on Malayasia air line hacks.
It is easy to dismiss Lizard Squad at times as just a simple bunch of trolls or “script kiddies” who go around using little DDoSes, but they’ve done far more than that, both now and in the past. According to John Smedley, they’ve been responsible for taking down a flight with a bomb threat, SWATing him, carding him and all other sorts of crimes. Beyond that we’ve also seen, as mentioned above, them supporting ISIS presumably in the name of trolling or something, but either way, helping that organization take down a site when information about a missing plane is being updated there is awful, nearly matching the level of cruelty and insensitively shown at desecrating a grave. This is in addition to the numerous times they have taken down services people pay for, in essence for the lols at the most, and have also turned that into a business attempt with their Lizard Stresser designed to basically sell DDoSes to people, which thankfully was shut down.
Look, the gaming community for one reason or another has been often divided in the past year. Every one of us has our own views on why that it is and what has caused it. I’m not here to talk about that but to ignore it isn’t really being realistic. People have insulted, attacked, and gone at each other from all sides of it … and trolls have come in to make it worse. None of that compares to what Lizard Squad has done in the past and is doing right now to further harm Daybreak and especially the people who work there, and beyond that we’re all basically gamers with the same passion for games regardless of what type of games those may be.
These … people, who often have dared to call themselves gamers, who dare to attack games not just at an infrastructure level but the creators and people who work on them at a personal level by reveling in sharing personal information and threats, are the true scum of the Internet. These are the people who every time they come up cause nothing but issues and a black mark all around on the Internet—gaming in particular. They are enabled and sometimes cheered on by others, and those who complain about a game being down from a DDoS are helping contribute to the issue, giving Lizard Squad a feeling of power and satisfaction. This only creates greater issues for the companies already under significant pressure. Let the company work on the issue and be patient—deny them the pleasure of thinking they upset you or made you angry with the situation and/or company involved.
This latest round of attacks is because John Smedley dared to say that he didn’t think the light sentence a member of Lizard Squad got was enough charges of things like stealing credit cards, hacking universities and more. Whether you agree or disagree with that stance—and even I, someone who believes largely in rehabilitation for prison focus, think that given his unrepentant nature and the continuing nature of the crimes he probably needed some time locked up for a wake up call—they are attempting to silence him by destroying his company and threatening his employees. It is nothing more than an attempt to extort silence on him via cyber terrorism and we cannot as a community allow that to stand.
Some might ask, why is it important for us to stand against Lizard Squad? Beyond any moral responsibility, they are representing themselves as gamers, and so what is at stake is the ability to shape our own identity, particularly if people decide to add them to the growing list of symptoms associated with the terribleness that is gaming. Games, and gamers, already get demonized often in the media with unverified or false information; if we don’t stop Lizard Squad, we are giving those who want to attack gaming an instrument to do so easily. We risk letting this reckless group with nothing but nefarious goals define what it means to be a part of the gaming community to the public at large.
So I call out to everyone—regardless of what games you like, regardless of everything else—to take a stance here today. Let’s draw our line in the sand at Lizard Squad and tell them defiantly that they do not represent us. They are not us. That we do not stand here and take what they are claiming to do for us as they essentially claimed on the Playstation Network and XBox Live hacks. We denounce them and we stand together united here in this line against their bullying, terrorism inspired tactics against creators and gamers. We Are #AgainstLizardSquad and we ask all of you to join us in standing against these people (lizards?) that are attacking this industry!
Update: I… uhh made a mistake on Mr. Smedley’s name. It has been corrected to John from the mistake Justin.