June 26, 2012
LulzSec Hackers Plead Guilty
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com
Two British hackers linked to the notorious hacking collective LulzSec plead guilty Monday to a number of cybercrimes, finally bringing justice to those who thought it fun to attack and humiliate large companies and governments.These 2 youths, 20 year old Ryan Cleary and 19 year old Jake Davis, pleaded guilty to conspiring with other LulzSec hackers to attack government, media and law enforcement websites last year. For instance, LulzSec admitted to attacking the UK´s Serious Organized Crime Agency (SOCA) site, The Arizona State Police site, and Sony´s website.
Cleary plead guilty to 6 out of 8 total charges, while Davis plead guilty to two out of four total charges.
According to Bloomerberg Businessweek, Cleary admitted he altered or installed files on US Air Force computers at the Pentagon. He also plead guilty to building a botnet, capable of performing DDoS attacks on his targets.
In addition to Cleary and Davis, two other hackers have also plead guilty to cybercrimes. 25 year old Ryan Ackroyd and another unnamed 17 year old have plead guilty to the same charges, and will head to trial in April. According to Judge Alistair McCreath, the trials could last up to 8 weeks.
Though the 4 youths have plead guilty to attacking government computers and websites, they have denied counts of assisting or encouraging others to do the same.
Seemingly in contradiction with this claim, Cleary also plead guilty to providing other hackers with botnets in order to carry out DDoS attacks against the Pentagon.
Cleary has been in jail since June, an arrest which was the result of fellow hacker Sabu´s cooperation with the FBI.
Sabu, known to those in the real world as Hector Xavier Monsegur, was arrested last year and plead guilty to more than a dozen charges. In exchange for mercy, Sabu agreed to help the FBI find his cohorts. Cleary was arrested for violating bail when he communicated with Sabu in an internet chat room via cell phone. Monsegur told Cleary he hadn´t been arrested and wasn´t under investigation by the FBI. Monsegur also played a role in the arrest of Ryan Ackroyd.
Cleary faces several charges in the US as well as the UK. Earlier this month, a grand jury indicted him for his DDoS attacks against Fox, Sony and others. Once the proceedings against Cleary are completed in the UK, the US authorities will seek extradition to charge him here.
When officials arrested Davis (known to internet thieves as “Topiary,”) they found a computer with incriminating evidence. Not only did the authorities find false news stories about Rupert Murdoch´s death, which were used when the group attacked Murdoch´s News International publishing company, they also found the details of pre-paid cards for more than 750,000 random people.
Initially, the hackers with LulzSec claimed the authorities had arrested the wrong man. Later, hackers with Anonymous (who have an affiliation with LulzSec) vowed to continue their crimes despite the arrests.