Security researcher and former cyber security reporter Brian Krebs claims to know exactly who may be behind the massive attacks that took down both Sony’sPlayStation Network and Microsoft’s Xbox Live platform for two straight days.
One member going by the alias “Ryan” recently appeared in a television interview on Sky News, and two Lizard Squad members did a radio interview with the BBC in which they were referred to as “Member 1” and “Member 2.”
Now, Krebs believes he knows the true identities of both members.
Citing multiple sources, Krebs writes that “Member 1” from the BBC interview and “Ryan” from Sky News is a 16-year-old Finnish teenager named Julius Kivimäki. “Member 2,” according to Krebs, “appears” to be a 22-year-old from the United Kingdom named Vinnie Omari.
Krebs said Omari’s voice, which he first heard in the Sky News interview, matches the voice in a video Omari posted on his personal YouTube channel. In the video, Omari discusses a hacking platform called hackerforums.net.
Here’s what we know about both Omari and Kivimäki.
- Kivimäki was arrested by Helsinki police in October 2013 under suspicion of running a giant botnet, according to Krebs’ sources. A botnet is a network of private computers that are infected with malicious software that’s being remotely controlled without the owner’s knowledge. Kivimäki’s botnet network consisted of more than 60,000 hacked web servers, Krebs’ sources reportedly said.
- Kivimäki has multiple online aliases, which include “Zee,” “Zeekill,” and “Ry|an.”
- He was also believed to be in possession of more than 3,000 stolen credit cards when he was arrested in Oct. 2013, according to Krebs.
- Vinnie Omari lives in London, according to his Facebook page, and is believed to have been involved in other hacks.
- He’s believed to be connected to a hacking group called “Null Consolidated,” which was responsible for a Dec. 23 attack that defaced a website called SoloMid — a popular website that publishes strategy guides for the game “League of Legends,” according to The Daily Dot.
- It’s also possible that Vinnie Omari is another pseudonym. Krebs’ report makes it sound like Vinnie Omari is his real name, but The Daily Dot describes it as an alias.
It’s unclear if Kivimäki and Omari are definitely behind the recent PlayStation Network and XBox Live attack, but Kivimäki’s Facebook photo does look a lot like the “Ryan” that appeared on Sky News.
It’s also important to keep in mind that it hasn’t been confirmed that both Kivimäki and Omari are part of Lizard Squad and have been involved in the attacks. But, Krebs does have a wealth of resources and years of experience researching and reporting on cybersecurity, so it’s possible that his report is legitimate.