Speaking of unspeakable and horrific harassment, this week the member of Lizard Squad that authorities managed to get their hands on got sentenced for his part of their activities, which included that Christmas where none of us could play on XBox Live.
For whatever reason, this group has decided in particular to target John Smedley, former president of SOE (now Daybreak studios), which is responsible for Everquest, Planetside and H1Z1. The shitstorm he’s endured is probably the most significant gaming shitstorm this side of Zoe Quinn.
“[The arrested kid] was the guy that brought down my flight with a bomb threat,” wrote Smedley, who was onboard an American Airlines flight last August that was forced to make an emergency landing due to a security threat. “I’ve heard the entire recording where he convinced an airline customer service agent there was a bomb on the plane. He also in conjunction with others has sent me pictures of my father’s grave with nasty stuff on it. I’ve had my entire credit history put out on the internet including my SSN and my families [sic] info. We’ve had multiple social networks and other things hacked and had my family members called.”
Smedley also said he has been ‘swatted’ multiple times—when police are fooled into thinking there’s an emergency at a victim’s house, and often activate their swat teams—and has been the victim of serious financial fraud from hackers, presumably Lizard Squad.
“I’ve … had over 50 false credit applications submitted in my name and had to deal with the ramifications of what happens to your credit when this kind of thing happens. It’s not good,” he said. “And to top it all off they decided to submit false tax returns.”
The kid caught participating in all of this was charged with 50,000 counts of cybercrime in his home in Finland. For this, the kid recieved 2 years of a suspended sentence. That’s right, no jail time, at least not yet. 51000th time is the charm?
For John’s part, he’s looking at potentially seeking other remedies, mostly suing the little scamp’s parents into bankruptcy.
His parents need to be held accountable for his actions in addition to his going to jail. @what_security – So I’m coming for you Julius.
— John Smedley (@j_smedley) July 8, 2015
Unfortunately, these instances of targetting devs are just getting more common, as evidenced by the Bungie exec that got swatted last year. The anonymity, and lack of seriousness that people take these crimes, is at this time truly disheartening, and that won’t change until both laws and technology catch up. Still, I have a feeling that 10-15 years from now, we’ll look back at the Wild West of today’s internet in total awe of it’s barbaric nature.