Two UK teenagers plead guilty to hacking charges


Two UK teenagers plead guilty to hacking charges

Warwick Ashford

Two UK teenage members of hacktivist group LulzSec have pleaded guilty to charges linked with attacks on several high-profile websites.

Ryan Cleary, 19, and Jake Davis, 18, admitted being part of LulzSec, an offshoot of the Anonymous hacktivist collective.

They and two others – Ryan Ackroyd, 25, and a 17-year-old boy – deny other similar hacking charges, according to the BBC.

LulzSec has been linked to attacks on the website of the UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) and US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), as well as breaches of computer systems at News International, Sony, Nintendo, film studio 20th Century Fox, US public broadcaster PBS, and US computer security organisations HBGary, Black & Berg and Infraguard.

In June 2012, Cleary, who was arrested in June 2011 for offences under the UK Computer Misuse Act 1990, was indicted by the US in connection with the hacking of the Fox and PBS television networks and Sony's film and TV studio.

The move came two months after LulzSec member Cody Kretsinger pleaded guilty in a US district court in Los Angeles to taking part in a breach of computer systems at Sony Pictures Entertainment.

The US indictment means the 20-year-old Briton could face extradition to the US to stand trial, and up to 25 years in prison if found guilty.

According to the indictment, Cleary and his unnamed co-conspirators stole confidential user information from News Corp's Fox Entertainment Group and Sony Pictures Entertainment.

The indictment also accuses Cleary and his co-conspirators of defacing the PBS website and launching denial-of-service attacks against an online gaming website.

US authorities said they would decide on whether to seek Cleary's extradition after the conclusion of his UK trial.

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