The FBI is actively investigating a member of the hacker collective that claimed responsibility for recent high-profile cyberattacks on Microsoft and Sony properties, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the investigation and the attacks.
A member of Lizard Squad, who goes by the name "ryanc" online, spoke openly to the media about the attack, sharing such details as methodology and motivation. The FBI noticed, and has now opened an investigation.
Ryanc" has been identified as Julius Kivimaki. Ryan is said to be 16 or 17 years old and lives in Finland, according to sources who spoke to the Daily Dot. The sources requested anonymity, fearing backlash from Ryan and the FBI. Ryan refused to confirm his age or other personal details with the Daily Dot.
Due to Ryan’s alleged age and country of residence, it may be difficult for U.S. law enforcement to extradite Ryan for his alleged role in the attacks.
Lizard Squad knocked Sony's and Microsoft's systems offline by using a denial of service attack, often shortened to DDoS. This means of attack works by overpowering a server with more traffic than it can handle. It's like trying to very quickly shake everyone's hand in a crowded room while more and more people enter. Lizard Squad said the DDoS attack maxed out at 1.2 terabits per second. If that is accurate, it's the largest DDoS ever rendered, three times larger than a similar attack against content delivery company Cloudflare earlier this year.
Ryan confirmed he is the same person who spoke to Britain's Sky News in the video report embedded below. In it, he cites one of the group's motivations for the attack as being a means to raise awareness of the poor state of computer security used at such large, brand-name companies. There's also the more base and less empathy-worthy reason of doing it for laughs, a common motivation among hackers.