August 28, 2015

Authorities in the United Kingdom this week arrested a half-dozen young males accused of using the Lizard Squad’s Lizard Stresser tool, an online service that allowed paying customers to launch attacks capable of taking Web sites offline for up to eight hours at a time.

The Lizard Stresser came to prominence not long after Christmas Day 2014, when a group of young n’er-do-wells calling itself the Lizard Squad used the tool to knock offline the Sony Playstation and Microsoft Xbox gaming networks. As first reported by KrebsOnSecurity on Jan. 9, the Lizard Stresser drew on Internet bandwidth from hacked home Internet routers around the globe that are protected by little more than factory-default usernames and passwords. The LizardStresser service was hacked just days after that Jan. 9 story, and disappeared shortly after that.

The Lizard Stresser's add-on plans. In case it wasn't clear, this service is *not* sponsored by Brian Krebs.

The Lizard Stresser’s add-on plans. In case it wasn’t clear, this service was *not* sponsored by Brian Krebs as suggested in the screenshot.

“Those arrested are suspected of maliciously deploying Lizard Stresser, having bought the tool using alternative payment services such as Bitcoin in a bid to remain anonymous,” reads a statement from the U.K.’s National Crime Agency (NCA). “Organisations believed to have been targeted by the suspects include a leading national newspaper, a school, gaming companies and a number of online retailers.”

The NCA says investigators also in the process of visiting 50 addresses linked to individuals registered on the Lizard Stresser Website but who haven’t yet carried out any apparent attacks. The agency notes that one-third of those individuals are below the age of 20, and that its knock-and-talk efforts are part of its wider work to address younger people at risk of entering into serious forms of cybercrime.

According to research published this month, the Lizard Stresser had more than 176 paying subscribers who launched more than 15,000 attacks against 3,907 targets in the two months the service was in operation.

For more information about how to beef up the security your Internet router, check out the “Harden Your Hardware” subsection in the post Tools for a Safer PC.

Further reading:

Stress-Testing the Booter Services, Financially

Story Category: DDoS-for-Hire

Finnish Decision is Win for Internet Trolls

Who’s In the Lizard Squad?

Crooks Use Hacked Routers to Aid Cyberheists

Spam Uses Default Passwords to Hack Routers

22 thoughts on “Six Nabbed for Using LizardSquad Attack Tool

  1. the most interesting man in the world

    All will be revealed!

    i own you now lizards!

    the most interesting man in the world

    1. Peter

      We should also ban cash also because drug and arm’s dealers use it ?

      1. C. Clay

        We should also ban sex, because hookers use it. And I bet they don’t declare that income fully on their taxes either, which makes it doubly sketchy. No sex, no hookers.

    2. Braben

      Actually Bitcoin is far easier to trace than cash. And it’s trivial for authorities to monitor known Bitcoin addresses for incoming transfers. Bitcoin’s open ledger (the block chain) is a great tool for surveillance.

    3. John Tolls

      That is one of the stupidest comments I have seen. I guess if we banned the internet then we would not have to worry about these types of things either.

    4. rider

      I agree we should also ban routers and cat 5 cable since those were also used.

    5. So let me get this straight...

      My favorite analogy to this is, “We should ban all pipes because they are used to make pipe-bombs.” Of course, then when the bomb-makers switched to making “jar-bombs” instead, we’ll have to ban jars, etc.. Where does it end? You know, atoms are used to make everything. Perhaps we should just jump straight to banning atoms?

  2. Queue

    I’m glad that these kids got caught. I read about how they got about 300,000 worth of services for them to stop, and it made me mad. When a two year old throws a tantrum in Wal Mart, you don’t give in to what they want, because then they learn to repeat the tantrum to get what they want. I told my children how to behave before we went in, and if they didn’t, we marched right back out of there, until they decided to behave. I now have well-behaved kids. It’s sad that noone had the chance to teach them that there is another way to use those skills-use them to help harden others’ security or catch bad guys.

    I was reading others’ comments, stating that a DDOS is difficult to perform, and that it takes a lot of intelligence. I won’t get specific, because I don’t want to teach people what to do, but no, it’s not. It’s as simple as downloading a pen-testing/hacking framework, changing a few settings, and typing exploit. We need to get this mindset out of people’s heads, so more may go to school to try and defend against this stuff. You don’t have to be super intelligent. You just have to be persistent, willing to learn, and able to think like a bad guy.

    1. Scott

      That might be a good analogy if the kid was holding a gun to your head. Then again, you would give him what he wanted. Taking a multi-million dollar company’s website offline for hours costs them a load of money. I’m not saying I disagree with your premise, but as any politician would tell you, its more complicated than that.

    2. David

      In the Case of the Christmas day hack, i would say it was like two kids having a tantrum that agreed to play nice. Lizard squad was being childish by taking down PSN and XBLIVE. Kim Dotcom was also being childish because he wanted tom play his video games. They mutually agreed to help one another out. Kim Dotcom and LizardSquad are cut from the same cloth. They may have different areas of operation but share the same battle space. I would say that in this case, the bigger kid in the playground gave the smaller kid what he needed in order to play nice.

      Now, Had XBLive or PSN given LizardSquad incentives to stop the attack, your argument would make a bit more sense to me but, it was an uninvolved third party, who shares the same ideology as LizardSquad, that stepped in and “saved the day” for gamers on Christmas. Kim had his own selfish reasons for helping.

    3. An IT guy

      I don’t think the kids that were caught are LizardSquad, just a few of their paying customers.

      I’d *love* to see the LS kiddies go down, but I don’t think this is them.

  3. Scott

    We should ban boobs too. Women use those for unscrupulous reasons all the time!

  4. Mike

    “…the Lizard Stresser drew on Internet bandwidth from hacked home Internet routers around the globe that are protected by little more than factory-default usernames and passwords.”

    Well, if people would take care of their stuff (i.e. routers)……..

    oh no, I can’t do that….Apple, Microsoft, and my ISP will do this for me.

    1. Bob

      AT&T U-verse supplies their customers with a wi-fi router that AT&T manages remotely and it doesn’t have a pass-thru port on it to allow one to turn off the AT&T router’s wi-fi and use your own.

      1. Mike

        I know. They aren’t the only ones do it.

        It’s why buying (and managing) your own router is the only way to go. It would be best to NOT use theirs.

        1. Bob

          Unfortunately, my primary TV and secondary wireless TV also come through the router. If it was as simple as plugging the TV connections into the wired ports on a new router, I’d do it in a heartbeat.

          1. Mike

            There isn’t a single router from any ISP worth having. They are pretty much worthless as far as security and quality. Any router you ever operate would provide better for you if you were to buy it as a device you own (without getting the absolute cheapest you can find). Lots of people are talking about network security but this is a point that few people seem to grasp.

            It really doesn’t matter if it’s your primary or secondary or any other tv. Any smart tv you have should be ‘wired’ in. Infact, any device that you might have that is stationary (that rarely moves – if ever) should be wired. Wired is better, faster, and more secure. I know that the logistics of making everything wired can be very difficult at times. But, WiFi really should be left for only those things that absolutely cannot be wired in (ipads and smart phones).

            Many people already have ALL the cat5 wire in place in their homes. Most new homes are setup with cat5 but with wallplates and connectors for using it as “phone” lines. Since most people are throwing out their home phones in favor of cellphones, why not ‘re-task’ these cat5 lines with ethernet wallplates and connectors? If your home has a ‘structured wiring system’, then put the modem/router/switch at or in that.

            These things are very do-able and doing it is very much to your advantage.

            I find it funny sometimes to see people put their network printer just inches from their modem/router and STILL insist on having it on WiFi.

            Why sacrifice when you don’t have to?

  5. Developers League

    Lol , this is not justified . Nabbing people only for using a certain tools ? its like a person was killed in car accident and now police is arresting all those who drive car ?

    anyways thanks for posting this article.

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