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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.

Blacked out Dox of one of Daybreak's Employees

Blacked out bank info of one of Daybreak’s Employees

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.

Don Parsons

News Editor

I've been a gamer for years of various types starting with the Sega Genesis and Shining Force when I was young. If I'm not playing video games, I'm often roleplaying, reading, writing, or pondering things brought up by speculative fiction.

  • Jesse Calvert

    What can we as the gaming community really do to help stop this tho? What you suggest is that we not show them our frustration with the outcome of their actions. Which is very similar to being told that if you’re being bullied, you should ignore it and it’ll go away. If you were ever bullied in school, you know that won’t work.

    People like this tend to only understand that it’s time to fuck off after their victims get tied of their shit and decide to hit back harder.

  • coboney

    No, we should stand up and speak out against them, but don’t shout at the game devs

  • Alpha

    Just FYI, the CEO’s name is John not Justin.

  • Jesse Calvert

    I get that. But there must be something more proactive that we can do than just telling them we really don’t appreciate the things they do? I’m assuming the FBI and other appropriate agencies have been contacted? How much more can these “people” do before they go too far and bring down the hammer on themselves?

  • Cy

    LIzard Squad are disgusting, but the only reason they’re such a problem is not one single law enforcement agency takes cyber crime seriously enough when it’s not related to major terrorism. These kids should be arrested, and if that’s not possible than they should be found and their hard drives destroyed with every virus and debilitating script the FBI can shove into them. The only way crap like this is going to stop is if the cost in time and money outweighs whatever benefit they think they’re getting.

  • Psichaos

    How the hell has no law enforcement got these shitstains after they threatened an airliner? Don’t they qualify as a terrorist organization after that stunt? What good is the NSA’s mass surveillance if they can’t get a couple of teenage terrorists? Their arrest can’t come soon enough.

  • SevTheBear

    I agree. People can yell as loud as they will about how much they hate LS. The industry and the law enforcement ain’t gonna do much until they do some MAJOR damage.

  • J.R. Moore

    If they are ‘script kiddies’ like you said, then the best thing you do just ignore them…

  • the reason is simple, law enforcement today don’t know what to do anymore.

  • HockeyVG

    Was this article really necessary? Besides the large chance of a backlash from said hacker group (which apparently did happen!), everyone knows these guys are not “gamers” or anything related to the sort. They are a typical black hat group that takes pride and pleasure in causing unrest and turmoil among the internet.

    Tell it to the authorities. File a report. Doesn’t that seem like a much better option than writing an “article” which equates to an opinionated rant in the vein of Polygon? The only way to stop them is to get authorities involved. Unless, of course, you actually believe telling them “this isn’t nice!” will work.

  • BasedLink

    The FBI is planning to hire “Zeekill”. THAT should tell you something.

  • Erthwjim

    I said it on twitter, but Lizard Squad will just be a passing group like lulzsec was. One or more persons in the group will be caught and will sell out everyone else, just like Sabu did. Perhaps that’s why Julius Kivimäki got such a light sentence, he’s now working for the Finnish government, or perhaps even some US government group. Bottom line, they’ll get their 10 minutes of fame and disappear like so many groups before them, just another passing blip on the internet.

  • mbits

    I don’t see it this way.

    As a software developer of 20 years, specialized in online communications at enterprise levels, I have always seen groups like this as a necessary evil. The body does not develop a strong immune system in a clean-room. The nervous system needs the body to be attacked, to strengthen itself against the world and the evolving things within it.

    D/DoS attacks are nearly impossible to prevent, but at some point we will have to determine a way to properly handle them. The only way that will be pushed as an urgent goal to pursue is if it keeps being a problem.

    The same goes for data breaches. The more it happens to more companies and impacts more users overall more often, the more we will see solutions proposed and adopted that address them.

    That doesn’t mean I’d celebrate douches like this. It just means I accept them as a necessary evil to spur the evolution of technology. It is unfortunate that someone has to shoulder the brunt of these attacks, on an individual basis, though, of course.