Six British teenagers have been arrested for using Lizard Stresser, a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) tool developed by the troublesome hacker collective Lizard Squad. According to the National Crime Agency (NCA), these individuals, who have now been released on bail, targeted a national newspaper, a school, gaming companies and various online retailers. They paid in "alternative" currencies such as Bitcoin in order to stay anonymous, however those measures have proven futile. Lizard Squad rose to prominence last year when it took down the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live. The group quickly claimed responsibility and, as if it were marketing stunt, launched Lizard Stresser -- a takedown-for-hire service that allowed anyone to cripple unsuspecting sites.
Security expert Brian Krebs says the nefarious tool was powered by a botnet of hacked home routers and commercial routers based at universities and businesses. While much of the media's attention has been centered on the Lizard Squad -- a few members have now been arrested -- it's notable that the UK's police forces are also targeting the people they've done business with. "One of our key priorities is to engage with those on the fringes of cyber criminality, to help them understand the consequences of cyber crime and how they can channel their abilities into productive and lucrative legitimate careers," Tony Adams, Head of Investigations at the NCA's National Cyber Crime Unit said.
Police are now visiting 50 addresses of registered Lizard Stresser users. The NCA doesn't suspect them of carrying out attacks though -- the purpose of these visits are to simply remind them of the law. It's a pretty simple tactic. If they make a display out of these British teenagers, it could deter others from carrying out similar cybercrimes in the future.
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