UK police are investigating and have arrested 22-year-old Vinnie Omari, an alleged member of the group connected to the attacks on the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live last week, according to multiple reports this afternoon.
The arrest, which occurred on Monday, appears to be part of an ongoing investigation by UK police into a series of PayPal thefts that have occurred over the past two years, and may be unrelated to last week’s attacks. But Omari also says police seized his computers and other electronic devices, showing an apparent search warrant to the Daily Dot that authorizes police to search his stuff for connections to the DDoS attack that crippled PSN on Christmas.
Omari made bail on Tuesday and must appear in court on March 10, 2015 for this arrest, according to a bail notice obtained by reporter Brian Krebs.
It’s unclear what kind of connections Omari has to Lizard Squad, the group that has claimed responsibility for last week’s PSN attack. Though Omari at first said he had helped launch the DDoS attack in interviews with various media outlets, he has since backtracked on that claim, alleging on his Twitter account that he is not actually part of the group.
On Monday, I had a bizarre Skype call with three people connected to Lizard Squad, including Omari, who claimed he had only recently become affiliated with the group and was not involved with last week’s attacks. During the call, one participant said while laughing that Omari was the “leader” of Lizard Squad; Omari fired back that this other member was “trolling.” It was a strange, often incomprehensible conversation that resulted in very few answers and almost no helpful information.
Omari has certainly made an effort to portray the image that he is part of Lizard Squad, going so far as to participate in radio calls and even an on-camera Sky News interview in which he is identified as a “security analyst.” Krebs, who has extensive history reporting on cybersecurity, pegged him and a Finnish teenager as members of the group, although it remains unclear just how much responsibility they share for the events of last week, despite the interviews they have conducted with various media outlets.
Omari did not respond to requests for more information this afternoon.