A Canadian teenager affiliated with the Lizard Squad hacking group has pleaded guilty to 23 charges related to stalking, harassment and swatting -- the act of falsely reporting that a violent incident is underway and sending a police SWAT team to an individual's home. The 17-year-old old, whose name was not released due to his age, frequently targeted his rivals in the “League of Legends” video game and young women who denied his advances on social media.
The teen, from the Vancouver suburb of Coquitlam, British Columbia, consistently “terrorized mostly young, female gamers and their parents” after encountering them in the popular “League of Legends” game, prosecutors told the Canadian publication TriCityNews. He would shut down their Internet access, post the family's personal information online, then call the police in the family's town and say they were being held hostage and that he would kill any police officer who tried to help them.
In at least one case, in which the young woman had to drop out of the University of Tucson because of the level of harassment, police arrived at her home in a helicopter and removed her father and brother from the scene at gunpoint.
Swatting is a favorite tactic of Lizard Squad, the mostly teenage group of hackers who frequently make life miserable for gamers and video game companies. Lizard Squad is small -- it's believed to include fewer than a dozen members -- but visible, knocking both Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network offline since the group's formation in 2014.
The teen has been in custody for 169 days. His sentencing is scheduled to take place June 29, and will depend on the results of psychological exams scheduled to take place before that date.