A gamer who goes by the handle PhantomL0rd explained his full ordeal of the last 24 hours (as of publication time) as hackers attacked his livestream on Twitch and police raided his home in response to an apparent prank call.
James “PhantomL0rd” Varga said in his video explanation that he hadn’t slept in 24 hours. For some reason, PhantomL0rd became the target of a hacker or hacker group that went by the name DERP. They targeted him, apparently for “lulz,” or laughs, inside his games and then made prank calls to the police, sending them out multiple times to his home. Now PhantomL0rd has made a lengthy video recording explaining what happened.
He woke up around 8:30 p.m. on Sunday morning, Dec. 29. He watched a fellow player on Twitch, a video service that players can use to livestream video of their game sessions to an internet audience. He streamed his own game sessions and found that his game session was getting interrupted. A hacker named DERP claimed credit for this. PhantomL0rd was trying to stream a session of Quake Live, and it wouldn’t work.
“He was saying [on the Twitch chat] that he was doing these things,” PhantomL0rd said.
PhantomL0rd said he tried other games and was drawn back to the Twitter messages of this one person who was making claims on the social-messaging service.
“Every game I was playing, it was done,” PhantomL0rd said. “I couldn’t play. Dota 2 got taken down. … So I was thinking this guy could be doing it.”
Other players were noticing and saying that the tweets were fake and that the hacker wasn’t doing it. Then another game, Oceanic, went down, and PhantomL0rd decided the trolling by DERP must have been real, taking down multiple servers, including games hosting League of Legends, Club Penguin, and others. A Reddit post went up, and PhantomL0rd started getting a big audience.
He was nearing his peak audience of 140,000 concurrent users watching his stream. PhantomL0rd said he didn’t stop because he streams for a living and he didn’t want to stop his job when it was at its peak.
Before he became a livestreamer, PhantomL0rd said he didn’t have $1,000 in his bank account. When viewers on Twitch started giving him donations, he cried out of joy. So he wasn’t going to quit, and he wanted to find out why it was happening and when the games would come back.
He also felt like he was a reporter working on a big story. In no way did he feel like he was fanning the flames with the hackers by staying online.
“I felt like I was being held hostage,” he said. “Every game I tried to play was taken down.”
Then the hacker showed PhantomL0rd’s real name and wrote, “The police may be coming.”
It’s common for hackers to make prank calls to the police. PhantomL0rd went outside and saw a pizza delivery guy, who was acting strange and pointing at him. PhantomL0rd said he walked down a hill and then spied three police cars and about seven police officers. He saw one police officer, leaning against a tree and was pointing an automatic gun straight at him.
“You could clearly see how intense this gun is,” he said. “I wasn’t scared. I knew what was going on. I was aware of the full situation. I was ready to explain all of this.”
But the police officer told him to turn around and walk backwards with his hands behind his head. More police officers were coming. The officer put handcuffs on him. Now there were about 15 police officers, including the police chief. PhantomL0rd tried to explain his streaming and the hacker attack to a big “white guy” police officer. The officer put him in the car.
“He didn’t give a fuck what I was saying,” PhantomL0rd said.
Then they opened the door later and let him out.
“I later found out that the threat was something like a hostage situation, that I was holding five people hostage,” he added. “That’s why they were that serious. I realized in the car that I have respect for the police. I’m a pussy. If shit would happen like that, no fucking way. Those people can do that. I just talk about dicks on the Internet. A huge respect came out in that car.”
Most of the officers left. At that point, PhantomL0rd took screenshots and video of the officers so he could prove he wasn’t lying. He showed the phone video on his livestream.
During the video explanation, PhantomL0rd had to interrupt his talk to deal with the sixth prank delivery that hackers ordered for him from Domino’s Pizza.
“I feel sorry for them,” he said of the pizza delivery guy. “They’re hustling. Doing what I did.”
PhantomL0rd said he was very scared by the whole ordeal. If this hacker could take down the servers of billion-dollar game companies, the conclusion was terrifying.
“What can he do to me?” PhantomL0rd said. “He can destroy me. Honestly, if anyone decides they want to get you, they can. My information is out there. He released everything on the internet. How easy was that?”
Twitch said in a statement that the incident was isolated and there was no breach of its own security. Riot Games said in a tweet that it was a target of distributed denial of service attacks on Monday and that it was investigating.
He apologized to the companies whose servers were affected and the gamers who were offline. He said it wasn’t his intention to stir up anything. He also warned that his attackers said, “This was a test. I have no idea what the finale will be.”
Here’s the video explanation.