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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.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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