While that headline sounds like good news, it turns out to be kind of the opposite depending on where you land on the “punishment fits the crime” scale of things. A member of hacker collective Lizard Squad has been tried and convicted of (wait for it) 50, 700 charges of computer-related crimes.
Seventeen-year-old Julius “zeekill” Kivimaki was found guilty of the ludicrous amount of charges by the District Court of Espoo (don’t laugh; it’s the second largest city in Finland). Some of those charges included Kivimaki’s participation in the Christmas 2014 DDoS attacks on the PSN and Xbox LIVE online services. Those attacks saw Microsoft’s and Sony’s console networks taken offline during the festive season.
While Kivimaki has been convicted, he has been handed a two year suspended sentence. He has also been “ordered to fight against cybercrime”.
The news of Kivimaki’s sentencing has been met with criticism from those he has directly affected. American Blair Strater was one such victim of Kivimaki’s online harassment: Strater and his family were repeatedly subjected to “swatting” calls by Kivimaki, and had their identities stolen and finances crippled thanks to the Finnish delinquent’s activities.
“I’ve lost complete faith in the justice system, and that includes the FBI,” Strater has said. “He’s harmed American targets and the FBI should have stepped in by now. The reality is, Julius Kivimaki will never be made to pay for his crimes.”
UPDATE: It turns out Blair Strater isn’t the only one dismayed by Kivimaki’s sentencing; ex-Sony Online Entertainment boss John Smedley is also angry and has told Kivimaki “I’m coming for you”. If you recall, Smedley was on a plane that was grounded by Lizard Squad thanks to his ties with Sony. According to Smedley, who went on a lengthy Twitter rant (read it here – thanks Game Informer), Kivimaki was the one who made the bomb threat call that grounded the plane. Smedley also clarified that Kivimaki’s convictions had nothing to do with his involvement in the Christmas 2014 hacks on the PSN and Xbox LIVE services; that case is still pending along with numerous other hacking related cases brought against Kivimaki. Smedley, who pulled no punches calling Kivimaki a “piece of garbage” and a “sociopath”, has indicated that he is considering pursuing Kivimaki’s parents in Civil Court as he considers them responsible for not keeping Kivimaki on a short leash.