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Alleged "Lizard Squad" Members Questioned by Police

Two individuals suspected of being members of Lizard Squad, the hacker group that disrupted Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network on Christmas Day with distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, were taken in for questioning last week by law enforcement authorities.

One of the suspects is 22-year-old Vincent Omari from Twickenham, a town near London, UK. According to the Thames Valley Police, which hasn’t named Omari in its statement, the man was arrested for his alleged connection to an ongoing investigation into “cyber fraud offences” that took place between 2013 and August 2014. Victims in this case reported having funds stolen from their PayPal accounts.

Omari, who was released on bail until March 10, has denied being involved with Lizard Squad. Just before his arrest, Omari was interviewed by Sky News, which introduced him as an “independent security analyst,” but the report didn’t tie him to the hacker group. However, an individual claiming to be 22 years old, with a voice similar to Omari’s, told BBC Radio 5 Live that he was involved in the Christmas cyberattacks.

Brian Krebs, who has been monitoring the Lizard Squad’s activities, has been targeted by the hacker group in the past days.

“Sources tell KrebsOnSecurity that Vinnie is one of many individuals associated with this sad little club who are being rounded up and questioned,” Krebs said in a blog post.

Another suspect is a 17-year-old from Finland who uses the online moniker “Ryan.” The teen, who is believed to be Julius Kivimäki, was interviewed by law enforcement, but he was not arrested, reported Yle, Finland's national public-broadcasting company. Police in Finland are collaborating with the FBI on the investigation.

The suspect has denied being involved in the attacks against the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live. However, according to Krebs, he might be on police’s radar since October 2013 when he was allegedly arrested on suspicion of running a large botnet.

In the meantime, the Lizard Squad doesn’t appear to be too concerned. A few days ago, the group announced a new DDoS service that can be used by anyone to launch powerful attacks.

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.