The Desk appreciates the support of readers who purchase products or services through links on our website. Learn more...

Suspected “Lizard Squad” member arrested in Britain

A man suspected of engaging in cyber attacks against two gaming services over the holidays was arrested on charges of cyber fraud in Britain.

Vincent Omari, 22, was arrested by police at his home in Twickenham, England on Wednesday just days after a prominent security blogger outed him as a member of the “Lizard Squad, a hacking collective that claimed credit for an attack against the Sony PlayStation and Microsoft’s Xbox Live gaming networks in November and again around Christmas.

Police claim Omari was responsible for a cyber fraud scheme that started around August 2013. As part of the scheme, Omari was said to have stolen money from various PayPal accounts.

Omari was released on bail shortly after his arrest. A copy of the bail notice was published online by Brian Krebs, the security researcher who identified Omari and another man weeks earlier as members of “Lizard Squad.”

Shortly after his release, Omari provided the news website Daily Dot with a copy of a search warrant executed on his home at the time of his arrest. In it, police were ordered to confiscate computers and other equipment that could have been used in connection with the recent attack on Sony and Microsoft’s systems. Omari is not currently charged for his alleged involvement in that attack.

Both gaming systems have fallen victim to cyber attacks in the past, but the recent attack by members of Lizard Squad are unique in that they appear to be motivated by profit.

Last week, hackers with the group accepted numerous vouchers for a New Zealand-based premium cloud storage service in exchange for dropping the campaign against Sony and Microsoft. The vouchers were estimated to have a value of $300,000 (US). A member of the group later claimed that they had sold some off some of the vouchers.

On Tuesday, the Daily Dot reported that the group began offering subscriptions to an online service created around the tool they purportedly used in their campaigns against Sony and Microsoft. A subscription for the service costs between $30 and $150 a month.

Photo of author

About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is an award-winning journalist with more than 10 years of experience covering the business of television and radio broadcasting, streaming services and the overall media industry. In addition to his work as publisher of The Desk, Matthew contributes regularly to StreamTV Insider and KnowTechie, and has worked for several well-known news organizations, including Thomson Reuters, McNaughton Newspapers, Grasswire, Comstock's magazine, KTXL-TV and KGO-TV. Matthew is a member of IRE, a trade organization for investigative reporters and editors, and is based in Northern California.

Email: [email protected] | Signal: 530-507-8380