Lizard Squad hacker draws suspended sentence for online attacks

The 17-year-old was charged with 50,700 counts of hacking and other offenses

A teenager who is apparently a member of the Lizard Squad hacker group has received a two-year suspended sentence in Finland in connection with various cybercrimes including attacks against U.S. university servers.

The seventeen-year-old, known as "Zeekill" and "Ryan," was charged with 50,700 counts of hacking and other offenses including credit card fraud, according to a Lizard Squad Twitter account and Finnish news reports.

In a Twitter post, Lizard Squad gloated that "Zeekill got a suspended sentence for 2 years. 0 time spent in prison."

The Espoo District Court ruled on hacking incidents including computer tampering involving servers at MIT and Harvard University as well as money laundering conducted to conceal the origin of illegally acquired funds, according to a a Finland Times report, which did not name the offender, a minor under Finnish law.

The crimes were committed in 2012 and 2013 when the teen was 15 and 16, according to a translation of a post on news site Lansivayla, which added that he has been deprived of access to a computer as part of the punishment.

Last year, security journalist Brian Krebs quoted his sources as saying that the teen was a member of Lizard Squad, and listed his pseudonyms including Ryan.

He was apparently arrested in late December by Finland's National Bureau of Investigation following attacks against prominent online video game networks.

During a Sky News interview that was posted to YouTube, a youth identified as Ryan admitted to participating in the attacks against Sony's PlayStation and Microsoft's Xbox One gaming consoles, which blocked access to game downloads and multiplayer games at Christmas.

The teen said the hack was done to point out security flaws. Lizard Squad had claimed responsibility for the outages.

The group, which came to prominence last year, has also claimed a hand in other outages at Sony's PlayStation and Entertainment networks, Facebook and the website of Malaysia Airlines.

Tim Hornyak covers Japan and emerging technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Tim on Twitter at @robotopia.

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