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Ex-Sony exec targeted by Lizard Squad: Convicted harasser 'will get what's coming'

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

The former Sony executive whose plane was grounded by an online threat last summer applauded today the news of the conviction of a teenager linked to the group responsible for the threat. In a lengthy series of tweets, John Smedley said the individual is "a sociopath and will get what's coming to him."

Smedley is the CEO of Daybreak Game Company, which was known as Sony Online Entertainment until Sony spun off its subsidiary earlier this year. Smedley was flying from Dallas to San Diego last August when his American Airlines flight was diverted to Phoenix after Lizard Squad claimed there was a bomb on board and that Smedley had something to do with it.

Julius Kivimaki, 17, a Finnish native who goes by "zeekill" online, was reportedly part of the group that sent in the bomb threat. Kivimaki also reportedly led the distributed denial-of-service attacks from Lizard Squad that brought down Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network during the holiday season last year.

Kivimaki was convicted yesterday of 50,700 charges related to cybercrime, including data breaches and telecommunications harassment. He was sentenced in the District Court of Espoo, Finland, to a two-year suspended prison sentence, according to the Finnish newspaper Kaleva. Kivimaki's online activities will be monitored during the period, but he will not have to serve any jail time.

"That was the piece of garbage that brought my plane down, leaked my information and did all kinds of other crap to me," said Smedley of Kivimaki, after linking to an article about Kivimaki's conviction and sentencing. According to Smedley, the story won't end here — he said the charges on which Kivimaki was convicted "had nothing to do YET with the PSN DDoS over Christmas," and added that Kivimaki "still has 15 other criminal cases awaiting prosecution in Finland."

Smedley went on to threaten legal action against Kivimaki's family, saying that "his parents need to be held accountable for his actions in addition to his going to jail." Smedley referred to Kivimaki as a "little dirtbag" and a "sociopath," and said he once talked to Kivimaki on the phone "when he called and pretended to be someone else." In addition, Smedley said he has listened to the "entire conversation between [Kivimaki] and American Airlines the day he called in the bomb threat." According to Smedley, Kivimaki already spent some time in jail and "got his ass kicked hard inside." News reports have not indicated whether Kivimaki has done prison time.

A Twitter account purporting to be Kivimaki, @What_Security, tweeted "lmao" yesterday, the day of Kivimaki's conviction and sentencing. That is Kivimaki's Twitter account, according to Smedley.

We've reached out to Daybreak for comment, and will update this article with any information we receive.

Update: A representative for Daybreak told Polygon the studio has no comment on Smedley's tweets, saying, "As company policy, we do not discuss personal matters regarding our employees – even if that employee is the CEO."

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