A 17-year-old teenager responsible for shutting down the PlayStation and Xbox stations has been convicted of an astonishing 50,700 offenses, which encompass online harassment, money laundering, and financial fraud.
The teenager, who being a minor has not been named by the local media, was instead let off with a two-year suspended sentence from a Finland Court. However, according to reports from cybersecurity analyst Brian Krebs, the teenager is Julius “Zeekill” Kivimäki.
Kivimäki is part of the Lizard Squad network, which has claimed responsibility of several major hacking incidents in the last few years.
In addition to the suspended sentence, Kivimäki was also ordered by the court to help combat cybercrime as part of his rehabilitation, as reported by Sky News. The penalty also included confiscation of his personal computer and submission of €6,588 (£4,725) worth of property he acquired through his crimes.
The cyberattacks, carried out in 2012 and 2013, were executed by Kivimäki when he was 15 or 16, Judge Wilhelm Norrmann said.
The court statement said, “[The verdict] took into account the young age of the defendant at the time, his capacity to understand the harmfulness of the crimes, and the fact that he had been imprisoned for about a month during the pre-trial investigation.”
Alan Woodward, a consultant who advises Europol on cybercrime matters, spoke of the sentence.
“Whilst I’m sure the courts considered all the circumstances surrounding the conviction and the sentence that was warranted, there is a question as to whether such sentences will act as a deterrent to other hackers,” he said, as reported by BBC.
“It is not necessarily the place of the courts to factor in deterrence in their sentences.
“However, if I were another hacking group, was not that bothered about just having something on my record, and saw someone attract a suspended sentence for over 50,000 hacks, some of which caused significant damage, I don’t think it would cause me much concern,” he said.
The cyberattacks on PlayStation and Xbox networks caused the consoles’ online gaming networks to go offline for several days in December.
In April, Kivimäki was involved in an online harassment campaign against a 20-year-old. He spread an online hoax that the victim’s number was the hotline for a Tesla car competition, which led to thousands of people calling the victim’s home.
Kivimäki was found guilty by Espoo District Court of tampering with the servers at MIT and Harvard University.
The latest sentence was cheered by the Lizard Squad. Their official Twitter account boasted about the sentence, posting tweets like “Zeekill got a suspended sentence for 2 years. 0 time spent in prison” and “Basically he’ll be monitored for 2 years by the local police. Gotta love Finland :).”
Another message said, “All the people that said we would rot in prison don’t want to comprehend what we’ve been saying since the beginning, we have free passes.”
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