LulzSec hackers sentenced for sophisticated global cyber-attacks

Two jailed, another sent to young offenders unit and fourth handed suspended sentence

Members of a group of young British computer hackers who masterminded sophisticated cyber attacks on major global institutions from their bedrooms were jailed today.

Ryan Ackroyd, Jake Davis, Mustafa Al-Bassam and Ryan Cleary considered themselves to be "latter-day pirates" when they masterminded sophisticated cyber attacks on major global institutions including the CIA, Sony, the FBI and Nintendo.

They were "hactivists" with the LulzSec collective behind attacks that stole sensitive personal data including emails, online passwords and credit card details belonging to millions of people.

News International, the NHS and the UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) were also victims of the group, who lived as far apart as London and the Shetland Islands and never met in person.

Sentencing them at Southwark Crown Court in London today, Judge Deborah Taylor said some of their taunting of their victims "makes chilling reading".

What they considered a cyber game, she said, had in fact had real 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," she said.

Stolen information was posted unencrypted on their website and file-sharing sites like Pirate Bay in 2011, the court had previously heard.

They also carried out distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, using linked networks of up to one million computers to overpower and crash websites.

Their activity collectively cost their targets millions of dollars and potentially left millions of people at risk from criminals.

All had admitted offences under the Computer Misuse Act 1990.

Cleary, 21, of Wickford Essex, known as ViraL, pleaded guilty to six charges including hacking into US air force agency computers at the Pentagon.

He was jailed for a total of two years and eight months.

Ex-soldier Ackroyd, 26, from Mexborough, South Yorkshire, was jailed for 30 months having previously pleaded guilty to one charge of carrying out an unauthorised act to impair the operation of a computer.

The Iraq veteran used the online persona of a 16-year-old girl called Kayla.

Al-Bassam, 18, from Peckham, south London, used the alias tFlow. He was at school at the time and is currently sitting his A-levels, the court heard.

He was given a sentence of 20 months suspended for two years, plus 300 hours of community work.

Davis, 20, from Lerwick, Shetland, used the alias Topiary and was LulzSec's main publicist. He was ordered to serve 24 months in a young offenders unit.

He and Al-Bassam had previously pleaded guilty to hacking and launching cyber attacks on a range of organisations, including the CIA and SOCA.

PA

News
people And here is why...
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
Voices
voicesBy the man who has
Sport
Arsene Wenger tried to sign Eden Hazard
footballAfter 18 years with Arsenal, here are 18 things he has still never done as the Gunners' manager
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson star in The Twilight Saga but will not be starring in the new Facebook mini-movies
tvKristen Stewart and Stephenie Meyer will choose female directrs
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
books(and not a Buzzfeed article in sight)
News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
Arts and Entertainment
Twerking girls: Miley Cyrus's video for 'Wrecking Ball'
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran performs at his Amazon Front Row event on Tuesday 30 September
musicHe spotted PM at private gig
News
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?