Two people who are suspected of being members of the infamous hacking groups the Lizard Squad and PoodleCorp are reported to have been arrested last month for running cyber-attack-for-hire websites that launched attacks on companies and individuals.
Zachary Buchta of Maryland and Bradley Han Willem Van Rooy of The Netherlands were charged in the U.S. District Court in Chicago for “conspiring to cause damage to protected computers.” Buchta has made an initial court appearance while van Rooy remains in custody in The Netherlands waiting for an extradition hearing.
In addition to the charges, the court also ordered the seizure of four domain names associated with the notorious hacking group: shenron.lizardsquad.org, lizardsquad.org, stresser.poodlecorp.org and poodlecorp.org.
Both men are accused of running a service called phonebomber.net, a website that enabled paying customers to select victims to receive repeated harassing phone calls from spoofed numbers. According to reports, the service was priced at $20 a month and was particularly popular with students who wanted to get out of school by making bomb threats, with several schools being evacuated after being targeted by people using the service.
The pair are also alleged to have been part of denial-of-service attacks that targeted various victims,including gaming, entertainment and media companies. While the charges do not specifically say so, the reference to gaming companies may be in relation to the 2014 Christmas attacks that brought down the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live.
Finally, the pair are accused of conspiring with other members of Lizard Squad to operate websites that provided cyber-attack-for-hire services, facilitating thousands of denial-of-service attacks, and trafficking stolen payment card account information from thousands of victims.
Lizardsquad and associated entity Poodle Corp. have a long list of cyberattacks to their name, including hacking Lenovo, DDoSing Daybreak Games, targeting UK law enforcement sites, hacking Taylor Swift and offering nude pictures of her for sale, bringing down Facebook and Instagram and many others.
Buchta and van Rooy are not the first members of Lizard Squad to have been arrested. Vinnie Omari, a 22-year-old British citizen, was arrested in December 2015 on suspicion of fraud by false representation and computer misuse.