Lizard Squad Teen Guilty Of 23 Charges Of Online Harassment and Swatting

Lizard Squad was once an unknown name among a lot of people, however, this changed when both the Playstation Online and Xbox Gold systems were taken offline over the Christmas Period. The group claiming responsibility, Lizard Squad, then began selling their services to hack and DOS (denial of service attack, in which a web site is forced offline by a barrage of traffic sent to the website companies). At one point they even claimed a bomb had been planted on the plane which John Smedley, Sony Online Entertainments Boss, was about to depart on. A teenager in British Columbia (Canada), a member of Lizard Squad, has pleaded guilty to 23 charges against him.

Due to his age the defendant cannot be named, but his actions have been described in a day-long hearing. The defendant specifically  targeted young female gamers and their parents, adding the girls on League Of Legends or Twitter. If the girls in question declined his friend request he would turn malicious, even resorting to doxxing (posting someone’s personal information online) or swatting (calling the police pretending that someone is being held hostage in their property or has been killed).

One woman he swatted, a student at the University of Arizona in Tucson, left her course after armed police dragged away family members during the second swatting of that week. He then continued to brag about his exploits, both on twitter and during an eight-hour live stream on Youtube in which he was seen to be swatting numerous people, during which viewers reported him to the police.

Several Lizard Squad members have been arrested, two of which were from the UK, one formally charged with Swatting and being involved in the Christmas hacks against Playstation and Xbox.

Personally I have no love for people who decided to ruin other people’s lives and experiences for laughs or personal gain, especially when people are quite often traumatised by swatting incidents. If you ever doubt how serious these actions are, you can watch a Runescape streamers reaction to a swatting that occurred on his channel (Be warned, this video is extremely emotional, you can watch it here). With sentencing due on the 29th June, it will be interesting to see the verdict of this trial and how it impacts future cases.

Thank you Eurogamer and for the information.

Image Courtesy of the Independent.

Kerbal Space Program to Finally Leave Early Access!

After nearly 4 whole years since the initial release, Kerbal Space Program is finally ready to make the move from Early Access to full release on 27th April! The news came about after a developer post on the game’s forums announced the date of the release alongside a short youtube video (below) announcing the inclusion of female Kerbal’s in the 1.0 version of the game.

The hugely popular space craft/exploration simulator, which is being developed by indie studio Squad, has received huge praise from the community ever since it’s launch and continues to hold an overall “overwhelmingly positive” review on steam. Needless to say the incredibly complicated and groundbreaking title has captured the imagination of all of those longing for their own space adventure and even Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, described the game as “awesome”, which is some praise coming from someone who literally builds rocket ships in real life, and even seems to have a higher success rate than most players tinkering virtual rockets.

Nonetheless, Kerbal has always stayed at the forefront of the Indie scene, never letting fans down with misleading promises or dodgy crowd-funding campaigns, which could be something that other Indie devs should think about before announcing their newest survival game.

Thank you Squad for providing us with this information.

Lizard Squad Claims Responsibility for Taking Down Google Vietnam

Lizard Squad have claimed responsibility for downing Google in Vietnam. The homepage was replaced with the message below that accompanies a picture of a yet unidentified person, possibly of one of the hackers.

“Hacked by Lizard Squad, greetz from antichrist, Brian Krebs, sp3c, Komodo, ryan, HTP & Rory Andrew Godfrey (holding it down in Texas)” – Lizard Squad

Google has released a statement on the incident, stating that no private information was taken.

“We’re aware that some users have been having trouble connecting to google.com.vn, or are being directed to a different website. We’ve reached out to the organization responsible for managing this domain name and hope to have the issue resolved shortly.” 

The hack is the latest in a string of hacks from Lizard Squad, attacking high profile targets. Most notably, the group claimed responsibility for a substantial outage of Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network at Christmas – a hack that drew a lot of anger from console owners. The fact that they’ve managed to take Google down for a whole country, shows that they may be upping their game.

Lizard Squad Hacks Taylor Swift’s 51 Million Follower Twitter Account

It was just this morning that we reported on Lizard Squad claiming responsibility for the earlier Facebook and Instagram outage, now it seems that the hacking group has taken another Social Media behemoth – Taylor Swift. For 15 minutes, Swift’s account featured two Tweets that referred to the reptile-themed cyber attackers.

Even though it was only 15 minutes before they were deleted, both tweets handing shoutouts to two Lizard Squad accounts, received 1 -2 thousand retweets and more than 11 thousand combined favourites. It’s also worth mentioning that her 20 million follower Instagram was hacked too, with a similar plug for one of Lizard Squad’s members.

Lizard Squad keeps on making the headlines lately following their massive DDoS attacks on both PSN and Xbox Live last Christmas. Just this past weekend, they took down the website of Malaysia Airlines, leaving the message “404 – Plane Not Found” shortly before promising to dump some “loot” found on the site’s servers. Plus this morning, the group hinted at their involvement with last night’s Facebook and Instagram outage.

We can only wonder what they’ll try next.

Source: The Verge

Lizard Squad Claims Responsibility for Facebook Outage

As you probably know by now, Facebook and Instagram both experienced outages in the last few hours. Droves of Social Media addicts turned to Twitter to vent their frustrations at the “social apocalypse”. Now, news has surfaced that Lizard Squad is claiming responsibility.

Yes, the group behind the Christmas DDoS attacks on PSN and Xbox Live have declared that it was indeed them who caused the outage.

Now considering their notorious Christmas attacks and the fact that they shut down the website of Malaysia Airlines just yesterday, it makes it seem likely that it was indeed Lizard Squad who were behind this outage.

However, Facebook has since issued a statement, claiming that the outage was not caused by any sort of attack, but that it was their fault due to a change in their systems.

“This was not the result of a third party attack but instead occurred after we introduced a change that affected our configuration systems. We moved quickly to fix the problem, and both services are back to 100 percent for everyone,” the company said in a statement emailed to CNBC.

So who knows? Perhaps Lizard Squad is using their new-found fame to claim responsibility for what was just a glitch?

Source: RT

Lizard Squad Hacks Malaysia Airlines Website

Lizard Squad strikes again. This time they’ve hacked the website of Malaysia Airlines, taking it down for a short while, before announcing that they’re “going to dump some loot” from the company’s servers.

The Malaysia Airlines website featured the message bellow – “404 Plane Not Found” alongside their usual message and a rap track that apparently celebrates their previous ‘achievements’, including the PSN and Xbox DDoS attacks.

They then followed it up with this message on Twitter.

The site has since come back online, but it remains to be seen what ‘loot’ the hackers might have. Why they would hack Malaysia Airlines like this is also unknown, although it most definitely has something to do with the MH370 aircraft that went missing last year.

Source: The Next Web

Another Arrested Over Lizard Squad Attacks

Police have arrested another person believed to be connected to the DDoS attacks upon Xbox Live and PlayStation Network over Christmas. The UK South East Regional Organised Crime Unit arrested an 18-year-old on Boundary Street in Southport this morning (Friday).

Gizmodo says that the individual was arrested under the Computer Misuse Act 1990 in connection with “unauthorised access to computer material, unauthorised access with intent to commit further offences and threats to kill”. The individual has also been linked to “swatting” – the practice of falsely informing the police about a supposed suspect or incident, leading to the deployment of oftentimes armed police officers to the victim’s property.

This news follows the late December arrest of Vinnie Omari – another Lizard Squad suspect liked to similar charges. Omari was however later released with no charges placed against him.

Lizard Squad hit the headlines over Christmas after a series of debilitating DDoS attacks upon Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network. Both networks were down for most of Christmas Day, with PSN down for a couple of days following that.

Source: Gizmodo

Lizard Squad Identities Supposedly Revealed by Anonymous

Another day, another Lizard Squad story. Anonymous have apparently had their revenge and unmasked those behind the ‘hacking’ group.

A list of names, addresses and other contact details have been dumped onto pastebin. The details are quite specific, listing their MAC addresses, IP addresses and even details of their family members.

Those listed are all fairly young, meaning Lizard Squad most probably is just a bunch of teenagers in their bedrooms doing it for the “lulz”.

Source: Pastebin 

Lizard Squad Supposedly Unmasked by Rivals

Pesky hacker group Lizard Squad, who have launched a number of attacks upon Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network (among many others) have apparently been unmasked by a rival group.

‘The Finest Squad’ wrote that they had taken Lizard Squad from Twitter.

This is not yet confirmed, but we’ll update you if there is any more information.

Source: newsxbox.com

Kerbal Space Program Mod “KerbalEdu” Takes The Game Into The World Of Education

Teachers and students can now work together to learn rocket science and the joys of space travel with the official launch of KerbalEdu, an educational modification of the popular, award-winning space agency game Kerbal Space Program game which hit steam in 2013.

Squad, the developers of KSP, have partnered with TeacherGaming to launch this project. Still in early development, interested educators and students can go to www.kerbaledu.com for more information on the game, which is available on compatible Windows, Mac OS and Linux computers. Squad will continue to develop KSP, which is currently available through early access on its website as well as Steam and other popular online gaming retailers. TeacherGaming, like its prior popular release MinecraftEdu, will modify KSP to enhance its value to professors and teachers in a classroom setting.

“KSP is about making rocket science fun, which is why we didn’t need any complex algorithms to realize an educational version is a great extension,” said Squad co-owner Adrian Goya. “TeacherGaming’s experience makes them an ideal partner and we believe KerbalEdu is going to be a great tool for science teachers throughout the world to teach our next generation of rocket scientists and astronauts.”

TeacherGaming hasn’t released the first KerbalEdu mod but is planning several features specifically for teachers, including:

  • Metric system and other systems for easier data comparison and integration with other school topics
  • UI alterations to include analyzer and data collector tools for easier data gathering, data summarization and problem solving with ship designs
  • Premade lessons that introduce or need a specific scientific method or formula to be solved, such as a rocket with too small of an engine needing more thrust
  • Valuable materials outside of the actual game, but with heavy connections to it, that help educators drive home important lessons

While Squad will remain focused on making sure every new feature in Kerbal Space Program is fun, TeacherGaming has the same goal – with an educational emphasis.

“KerbalEdu is going to help players do more than just dream of the stars in their classroom. It’s going to give them the tools to learn how to reach them,” TeacherGaming CEO Santeri Koivisto said. “Squad is a great partner and a believer in our mission to use games to help educate the next generation of students.”

Schools and other educational institutions interested in KerbalEdu can purchase the educational version of Kerbal Space Program for a discounted price and schools who do decide to use the software will also have the opportunity to offer their students a discounted price on Kerbal Space Program. Of course everyone else can still get it on Steam Early Access and see if they can make something that doesn’t rip its self apart and explode, although getting it wrong can be just as fun.

Thank you Kerbal Space Program for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Kerbal Space Program.