Two members of hacking groups Lizard Squad and PoodleCorp were charged yesterday with “conspiring to cause damage to protected computers,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois said in a statement. Both hacking groups have taken credit for temporarily bringing down online gaming services Xbox Live, PSN, Battle.net and more.
Zachary Buchta and Bradley van Rooy, both 19, have been arrested respectively in Maryland and the Netherlands. Lizard Squad, and since June, PoodleCorp, are known for launching distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against online services for the lulz. On top of that, they allegedly sold their DDoS services to others on the domain stresser.poodlecorp.org.
In addition to running cyber-attack-for-hire services, Buchta and van Rooy also allegedly “trafficked payment accounts that had been stolen from unsuspecting victims in Illinois and elsewhere,” the statement reads. Thousands of people allegedly fell victim to that scheme.
Previously, Lizard Squad allegedly operated a “phone-bombing” service. According to a criminal complaint, the service “enabled paying customers to select victims to receive repeated harassing and threatening phone calls from spoofed phone numbers.” Last fall, an Illinois-based victim received a spam call every hour for thirty days. The automated audio recording said “better look over your [expletive] back because I don’t flying [expletive] if we have to burn your [expletive] house down, if we have to [expletive] track your [expletive] family down, we will [expletive] your [expletive] up [expletive].”
On Twitter, both hacking groups bragged about their alleged exploits.
The maximum sentence for conspiring to launch cyber attacks is ten years in prison.