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February 18, 2015updated 19 Aug 2016 4:00pm

Anonymous Protection slated for merchandising ‘scam’

Enemies of Lizard Squad suffer barrage of accusations from other hackers.

By Jimmy Nicholls

The launch of a merchandise store by a faction of Anonymous has prompted a backlash from other branches of the hacking collective, in the latest of a series of squabbles.

During the last week Anonymous Protection set up an online store on the Zazzle retail platform to flog branded t-shirt, badges and iPhone cases, but other members of Anonymous have dismissed the scheme as a scam.

"Anonymous doesn’t need or want your money. These kids are frauds and it’s sad people are being scammed," tweeted The Anon Movement.

"Our most successful operations were done with literally no money involved. We don’t need it. Bottom line. Don’t believe the liars."

Anonymous Protection previously garnered praise for its claimed role in repeatedly stopping rival hackers Lizard Squad’s attacks on gaming networks on Xbox and PlayStation, but many observers of the group have disputed their story.

Tweets from an account supposedly controlled by Finest Squad, another hacking group, claimed to have restored Xbox services over the last day and brought down Lizard Stresser, a distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) tool from Lizard Squad that can disrupt internet services with floods of traffic.

Defending themselves on Twitter, Anonymous Protection said: "All Xbox services are now fully restored. Whoever else claims to have fixed them are liars. Just a heads up."

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The group later sought to draw a line between themselves and the rest of Anonymous, writing that they "are in no way connected with Anonymous hacktivists", referring to those who carry out cyber-attacks for political reasons.

"We are dedicated to protect the people of the Internet, not argue political problems," the group said.

Operation Lizard Squad, another group that opposes Lizard Squad, also alleged that Anonymous Protection has set up a "sockpuppet" Twitter account called Lizard Phoenix in order to pose as Lizard Squad, and has been actively promoting it.

However previous messages posted to Lizard Squad’s web domains have identified Lizard Phoenix as a genuine account, though it could not be confirmed if this had been fraudulently posted during one of the many assaults on the group during the last few months.

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