May 17, 2013
UK Sends Four Hackers Associated With LulzSec To Prison
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Four more LulzSec hackers said to have played a part in the June 2011 attacks against Sony Computer Group have been sentenced to up to 32 months in prison. Each of these young hackers pleaded guilty to their charges which included attempts to hack into the UK´s Serious Organized Crime Agency (SOCA) site, The Arizona State Police site, and Sony´s website.As is often the case in hacker culture, these cybercriminals operated under pseudonyms whilst online. The four hackers sentenced to prison this week are Jake “Topiary” Davis, Ryan, "Viral" Cleary, Mustafa "T-Flow" Al-Bassam and Ryan "Kayla" Ackroyd.
Each of the four young men were arrested shortly after FBI informant Hector Xavier "Sabu" Monsegur, himself a former LulzSec hacker, agreed to help with FBI to receive a lighter sentence.
In an interview with the BBC, Jake Davis explained his intentions during the “50 days of Lulz” campaign during which these attacks took place. Now that he´s been caught and convicted, Davis says he regrets "95 percent of the things I've ever typed on the internet.”
He will now spend at least two years in an institution for young offenders. Al-Bassam received only a 20-month sentence as he was a minor at the time of the attacks and Ackroyd will serve 15 months of his 30-month sentence.
As she handed down the sentences to the four hackers in London today, Judge Deborah Taylor said these young men were playing a “cyber game” which they did not realize had real-life consequences.
"You cared nothing for the privacy of others but did everything you could through your computer activities to hide your own identities while seeking publicity," said Judge Taylor, according to ABC News.
In the Sony attacks the LulzSec hackers found confidential information of Sony customers who had entered contests put on by the entertainment and gaming company. These hackers then published this confidential information -- addresses, birthdays, email addresses, passwords and phone numbers -- on their Twitter profile for any and all to see as a sort of trophy of their conquests.
"It was my world, but it was a very limited world. You can see and hear it, but you can't touch the internet. It's a world devoid of empathy - and that shows on Twitter, and the mob mentality against politicians and public figures. There is no empathy,” said Davis in his remorseful interview with the BBC.
"So it was my world, and it was a very cynical world and I became a very cynical person."
According to Mashable, each of the four Lulzsec hackers played a different role in the June 2011 attacks.
Ackroyd was found to be the leader of the outfit, randomly picking targets and sending fellow hackers to attack these sites. Davis was found to be in charge of media during the attacks, alerting the press that it was, in fact, LulzSec behind these large-scale strikes. Cleary was the man in charge of distributing software and botnets needed to break into these computer networks, while Al-Bassam was responsible for leaking the innocent victims´ very private information online for other hackers to steal and take advantage of.
It wasn´t until after these hackers went after the Arizona State Police that Davis began to regret his actions, according to his BBC interview.
"I thought this hack has gone way too far - there's no point to this thing, it's just harming police officers“¦ This doesn't entertain anybody or help anybody anywhere," said the accused hacker.