This Illinois family has been allegedly terrified by a hacker for years
Just imagine how it would be like to get threatening calls to kill you and burn your house down every hour, all day and night. Or calls and visits to your house by strangers from all parts of the world on hearing of free distribution of Tesla cars by you. Just think of police dropping at your place late at night, as someone has reported an attempted murder by calling 9/11. Or getting endless food deliveries for which you haven’t place an order or losing your job because someone hacked your social media accounts and wrote bad, unpleasant, and hateful things.
The thought of all these instances happening can be so horrifying. But in reality the same have been experienced to one Strater family living in Oswego, Illinois, allegedly because of an 18-year-old hacker from Finland.
The Daily Dot this week published a special report on the hacker, Julius Kivimaki and his alleged exchanges with the Strater family. The report throws light on a lot of key topics that includes how and why people get hacked and the extent of getting hacked that can ruin the lives of you and your family.
According to The Daily Dot, in the case of the Strater family, it all started when “r000t” Strater, the family’s 20-year-old son Blair, a convicted hacker in his own right instigated Kivimaki by reportedly throwing him out from an online chatroom years ago. He was mostly unfriendly towards the Finnish teen and allegedly threatened to announce the names and personal information of some of Kivimaki’s friends. In many of the posts on his personal blog, Strater also openly annoyed Kivimaki.
However, this is more than a one-sided issue. According to The Daily Dot, Strater continues to annoy Kivimaki, both on his blog and via Twitter, which is replied in kind with pranks and hacks by Kivimaki.
The most important lesson to be learned by the parents is that the family gets regularly affected by the pranks, many of which involve calling the police to report fake hostage situations, murders, etc. But this doesn’t mean that keeping a watch on whom you let your kids speak to online doesn’t lessen the brutality of these pranks.
Kivimaki who spent most of his young life hacking was accused of using stolen credit cards to buy himself luxury items and for taking part in a money-laundering scheme that funded a trip to Mexico, according to the BBC.
Kivimaki also alleged to be linked with Lizard Squad, a young international group of hackers has helped them ground an American Airlines plane at one point. According to John Smedley, former president of Sony Online Entertainment, who was on the plane at the time said that Kivimaki had reportedly called the American Airlines directly, while the group had tweeted regarding the bomb threat.
Speaking to security researcher Brian Krebs, Smedley told, “I personally got to listen to a recording of [Kivimaki] calling in to American Airlines, and I know it was him because I talked to him myself. He’s done all kinds of bad stuff to me, including putting all of my information out on the internet. He even attempted to use my credit numerous times. The harassment literally just did not stop.”
You may remember how starting on Christmas Eve last year, Sony’s PlayStation Network and Microsoft’s Xbox Live service went down for several days. And the group responsible for that was “Lizard Squad”, who had released a coordinated series of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against those networks during the holidays, leaving millions of kids and adults fuming and upset. Reportedly, Sony and Microsoft lost over $40,000 every hour their game networks were down.
When Lizard Squad was contacted by Sky News for an interview, Kivimaki spoke as the group’s representative:
A Finnish court convicted and punished the then 17 years old, Kivimaki for these attacks from the total of 50,700 computer crimes committed by Lizard Squad in relation to hacks. He was given a two-year suspended sentence and asked to forfeit nearly $7,000. However, this has not stopped him from using a computer, and to this day, his pranks on the Strater family continues.
In an email to The Daily Dot, the Finnish National Bureau of Investigation says it has “several ongoing investigations against Kivimaki,” adding it will “finalize some of the cases in the near future and hand them over to [the] prosecutor.” However, the Straters’ tale of helplessness against hacking gives you an idea of what could happen if you make a hacker your enemy.