Lizard Squad

Lizard Squad

Updated Jan 11, 2021 at 02:50AM EST by Synge.

Added Aug 25, 2014 at 02:27PM EDT by Don.

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The Lizard Squad is a black hat hacking group known for orchestrating large-scale denial of service (DDoS) attacks targeting a variety of high profile video game companies beginning in August 2014.


On August 18th, 2014, the @LizardSquad[2] Twitter feed posted a tweet announcing that the hacking group had managed to take the online multiplayer game League of Legends offline.

Lizard Squad @LizardSquad # Follow League of Legends NA #offline Reply t7 Retweet ★ Favorite More RETWEETS FAVORITE 7:21 PM -18 Aug 2014

RuneScape DDoS

The same day, @LizardSquad[12] took responsibility for taking the massively multiplayer role-playing game RuneScape offline.

Lizard Squad @LizardSquad +오 Follow aRuneScape How are our Lizards treating your network? #Runescape #Offline #LizardSquad 4 Reply Retweet ★ Favorite More RETWEETS FAVORITES 11:06 PM-18 Aug 2014

Riot Games DDoS

On August 19th, @LizardSquad[5] took responsibility for hacking the video game publisher Riot Games and forcing them to upgrade their security.

Lizard Squad @LizardSquad Follow While we wait for Riot to fix their s---. わReply Retweet * Favorite More RETWEETS FAVORITES 11:11 PM-19 Aug 2014 DDoS

Also on August 19th, @LizardSquad[7] tweeted that they had successfully taken the Blizzard Entertainment online gaming service offline.

Lizard Squad @LizardSquad Follow #offline #LizardSquad Reply t3 Retweet ★ Favorite More RETWEET FAVORITE 1:43 AM-19 Aug 2014

PlayStation Network DDoS

The morning of August 24th, @LizardSquad[6] posted a tweet alluding to an imminent cyber attack on the video game company Sony's PlayStation network gaming service.

Lizard Squad @LizardSquad 塩Follow We're putting a bunch of lizards in the pipes on their way to Sony. わReply Retweet * Favorite More RETWEETS FAVORITES 42 23 5:07 AM-24 Aug 2014

The same day, president of Sony Online Entertainment John Smedley[3] tweeted that the company was currently facing a "large scale DDoS."

John Smedley @j_smedley Follow We are under attack by a large scale ddos. Being dealt with but it will impact games until its handled. 7:59 AM - 24 Aug 2014 222 RETWEETS 75 FAVORITES

Immediately after, @LizardSquad[8] tweeted to the @AmericanAir feed that they had received reports of explosives smuggled aboard Smedley's flight (shown below, left). Smedley subsequently tweeted that his flight had been diverted for "security reasons" (shown below, right).[9]

Lizard Squad @LizardSquad な 塩Follow .@AmericanAir We have been receiving reports that @Lsmedley's plane #362 from DFW to SAN has explosives on-board, please look into this. わReply Retweet ★ Favorite More RETWEETS FAVORITES 1:29 PM 24 Aug 2014 John Smedley @j_smedley Follow Awesome. Flight diverted to Phoenix for security reasons. Reply t7 Retweet ★ Favorite More RETWEETS FAVORITES 91 52 @ 0 凸.本02例, 3:04 PM-24 Aug 2014


Also on August 24th, Lizard Squad[10] posted a tweet asking if anyone was having difficulty logging into Microsoft's Xbox Live gaming servers. The following day, the feed posted another tweet asking "How's Xbox Live Doing?"[11]

Lizard Squad @LizardSquad 20h Is anyone having issues with the Xbox Live Login servers? 2 294 ★287

Support of ISIS

The @LizardSquad[4] posted a tweet announcing that "Kuffar" (non-muslims) would not be able to play online games until the bombing of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant stopped along with the hashtag #ISIS.

Lizard Squad @LizardSquad Follow Kuffar don't get to play videogames until bombing of the ISIL stops. #ISIL #PSN #ISIS わReply t7 Retweet ★ Favorite More RETWEETS FAVORITES 149 60 画 . 10:52 AM- 24 Aug 2014

Sony PlayStation Network Hack

On December 7th, 2014, Sony's PlayStation Network was targeted and taken offline by members of the Lizard Squad, which led its users to a page with a message reading "Page Not Found! It's not you. It's the Internet's fault," as well as prompting a lengthy outage for the online media store and gaming servers.

PlayStation.Store Just for You PSPS3PS Vita/PS TV/PSP Discove>PlayExp Page Not Found! It's not you. It's the Internet's fault. <Back | Home

Christmas 2014 Hack

During Christmas Day on December 25th, 2014, the Lizard Squad took responsibility for DDoS attacks that managed to take down both the Microsoft Xbox Live and Sony PlayStation Network online gaming services for most of the day. That evening, Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom tweeted that he was pushing to give Lizard Squad 3,000 Mega lifetime premium accounts if they stopped the cyber attacks. Two hours later, Dotcom tweeted that he had successfully made the exchange and posted a screenshot of his communications with the @LizardMafia Twitter feed (shown below).

Direct messages with Lizard Squad Hello? 39m Thanks for stopping the attack. I really appreciate it Please let me know where to send the Mega vouchers. Merry Christmas 39m Can you upload text file to mega? 39m Sure can. They are preparing the vouchers now. Should I post the link here when it is ready? 38m Yeah Ok. I'm asking them to rush it. Will post the link here as soon as l getit 38m Wonderful. Have a great holiday and thanks for being kind enough to stop the attack. This will make a lot of people happy. All the best 36m You too Update? 36m They are being generated. You should have them within1 hour. Consider it done 23m Pro1 annual Mega vouchers with 500GB storage (value $99) each. If you leave Xbox Live and PSN alone they will be converted to lifetime 19m Yes sir But if you atack them again those vouchers will be terminated OK? And again, thanks for letting people play, including myself 19m No problem 17m 16m O Add photo 140 send message

On the following day, The Daily Dot[21] published an interview with Lizard Squad hackers using the aliases "Vinnie Omari" and "Ryan Cleary," who claimed the DDoS against Microsoft and Sony "maxed out at 1.2 terabits per second." The pair claimed they targeted the companies to encourage them to hire better security experts and improve their equipment. Additionally, Clearly bragged that the hacking group had access to "devices that are in the middle of the ocean that have something like 100-gigabit-per-second Internet connections."

Daybreak Game Company Hack

On July 8th, 2015, 17-year-old Finnish Lizard Squad member Julius "zeekill" Kivimaki was given a two-year suspended sentence after being convicted of 50,700 "instances of aggravated computer break-ins," but would not be serving jail time. That day, Daybreak Game Company CEO John Smedley tweeted[26] a response to the sentencing, referring to Kivimaki as a "piece of garbage" (shown below).

HT John Smedley @j_smedley FolloW that was the piece of garbage that brought my plane down, leaked my information and did all kinds of other crap to me. 4:16 PM- 8 Jul 2015 29 ★53

On July 9th, Smedley replied to a post about the incident on the /r/Planetside[22] subreddit, where he described how hackers harassed him and expressed disappointment with the Finnish justice system. The next day, the @LizardLands[23] Twitter feed posted a tweet saying "Time for some more fun" (shown below).

Lizard Squad @LizardLands FolloW Time for some more fun. 10:57 AM-10 Jul 2015 4 53 ★ 123

That day, the Daybreak Games Twitter[24] feed announced the company was "experiences issues" and Smedley[25] posted a tweet acknowledging that they were being hit by a DDoS attack. Meanwhile, the DDoS attack was reported by the gaming news sites Kotaku[27] and PC Gamer.[28]

Daybreak Games @DaybreakGames Follow We are experiencing issues again which may result in lag, disconnects, or inability to access games, forums, or websites. The team is aware. 11:02 AM- 10 Jul 2015 30 ★24 H1 John Smedley @_smedley y Follow looks like we are getting hit again. Sorry folks. 11:30 AM 10 Jul 2015 t376 ★ 137

March 2016 Arrest Tweet

On March 31st, 2016, the @LizardLands[24] Twitter feed tweeted that 36 people were arrested in a "global raid on lizard squad members" (shown below). The claim was not verified by any major news outlets.

Lizard Squad @LizardLands Follow A global raid on lizard squad members took place today, 36 arrests. I'm the only one left. Goodbye. 11:15 PM 31 Mar 2016 わ다 351 925

Blizzard DDOS

On April 10th, 2016, the private vanilla World of Warcraft server Nostalrius announced that they were being forced by Blizzard Entertainment to shut down servers due to copyright infringement claims. On April 13th, Lizard Squad's @LizardLands Twitter account retweeted a post including images purportedly showing the personal email accounts of various Blizzard employees (shown below).

queer @lmaoqueer Follow Hmm, Blizzard's Employee's security is so weak... it allows a lizard to sneak in? @KEEMSTAR @chipmonkz #DramaAlert y contacts My contacts dam Gershowtz Goups Af @ Inbox Ale Seri Bown Change Alex Tsang Today lesandeB Theres a problem w Chip Carle WTS home brew supplies (full kit beer/wine/mead rmold Tsang Sign in to IM Open another Sign out . Aaron Barlev Tax Return 2015 Missing information earch resuts Mke Morhaime Select an item to read RETWEETS LIKES 6 9 4:00 PM-13 Apr 2016

The same day, the @LizardLands[23] Twitter feed announced that several Blizzard game servers in the United States were offline (shown below).

Lizard Squad @LizardLands Follow US Blizzard #Offline-WoW #Offline, Diablo 3 #Offline, Starcraft 2 #Offline. Hearthstone #Offline @fbiarelosers @AppleJ4ckxoxo 9:49 PM 13 Apr 2016 わ다 194 341

Shortly after, the official Blizzard customer service Twitter[22] feed acknowledged that the company was "monitoring a DDOS attack" compromising the performance of some of their online games (shown below).

BlizzardCS @BlizzardCS 으 Follow We are currently monitoring a DDOS attack against network providers which is affecting connections to our games. RETWEETS LIKES 406 492 9:53 PM - 13 Apr 2016

That day, YouTuber DJ Keemstar posted a video to the DramaAlert YouTube channel, which featured a brief segment about the DDOS attacks (shown below).

Lin Wood Tweet

In January 4th, 2021 American attorney Lin Wood[25] posted a tweet claiming that a group called Lizard Squad had obtained evidence of Chief Justice John Roberts raping and murdering children by hacking one of the "world's most well known and 'elite' intelligence agencies". He went onto say that Lizard Squad members were arrested in relation to said hack. Vinnie Omari, a former Lizard Squad member has stated that Lizard Squad never took part in the espionage or hacking of any government.[26]

Lin Wood @LLinWood This blackmail scheme is conducted by members of 10 of world's most well-known & "elite" intelligence agencies. One of those groups was hacked by a group known as Lizard Squad. The blackmail files of r--- & murder were obtained by this group & copy was provided to Isaac Kappy. Lin Wood @LLinWood 13m I believe Chief Justice John Roberts & a multitude of powerful individuals worldwide are being blackmailed in a horrendous scheme involving r--- & murder of children captured on videotape.... 2:17 AM · 1/4/21 · Twitter for iPhone Lin Wood @LLinWood After Kappy received the hacked files from member of Lizard Squad, he gave files to one friend and the encryption key to another friend. He provided this information to his friends shortly before he was murdered in May 13, 2019. Members of Lizard Squad were jailed for hacking. 2:28 AM · 1/4/21 · Twitter for iPhone


News Media Coverage

In the coming days, several news sites published articles about the cyber attacks, including Shack News,[13] The Daily Dot,[14] CNET,[15] ABC News,[16] Motherboard,[17] IBI Times[18] and Tech Crunch.[19]

Search Interest

External References

[1] Facebook – Lizard Squad

[2] Twitter – Lizard Squad

[3] Twitter – John Smedley

[4] Twitter – Lizard Squad

[5] Twitter – Lizard Squad

[6] Twitter – Lizard Squad

[7] Twitter – Lizard Squad

[8] Twitter – Lizard Squad

[9] Twitter – John Smedley

[10] Twitter – Lizard Squad

[11] Twitter – Lizard Squad

[12] Twitter – Lizard Squad

[13] Shack News – Blizzard PlayStation Network and more

[14] The Daily Dot (via Wayback Machine) – Playstation Network and Blizzard hit with massive DDoS

[15] CNET – Sony says PlayStation Network back online

[16] ABC News – Sony PlayStation Users Heated Up After Apparent Network Problems

[17] Motherboard – Hackers and Trolls Target Sony- (unavailable)

[18] IBI Times – Sony Playstation Hacked

[19] Tech Crunch – PlayStation Network Suffers DDOS Atatck

[20] Twitter – @KimDotcom

[21] The Daily Dot – Meet the hackers who ruined Christmas for every gamer in the world

[22] Twitter – @BlizzardCS

[23] Twitter – @LizardLands

[24] Twitter – @LizardLands

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