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Lulzsec Suspect Appears In Magistrates Court

Ryan Ackroyd of South Yorkshire set for Crown Court appearance in May

An alleged member of the hacking group LulzSec has appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court charged with conspiracy to bring down the websites of the CIA and the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency.

Ryan Ackroyd, an unemployed 25-year-old from Mexborough in South Yorkshire, was also accused of attacking the sites of the NHS and News International with other members of LulzSec. Ackroyd did not enter a plea at the Magistrates’ hearing last Friday.

No more lulz for LulzSec

LulzSec, an off-shoot of the broader Anonymous collective, was brought down earlier this month following months of collaboration between the FBI and the group’s leader Sabu, also known as Hector Xavier Monsegur. A series of five arrests in the UK, Ireland and Chicago effectively crushed the group that caused havoc during distributed denial of service (DDoS) and hacking campaign last year.

The BBC reports that Ackroyd, known within LulzSec as ‘Kayla’, was the last group member to appear in court. He faces two conspiracy charges alongside the other alleged hackers, including Jake Davis, an 18-year-old known online as ‘Topiary’, Ryan Cleary, a 19-year old known as ‘viraL’, and a 17-year old boy who cannot be named.

All four are accused of taking down the sites of Sony, game developer Bethesda, massive multiplayer game Eve Online and the Westboro Baptist Church using DDoS attacks. They are also accused of hacking into computers used by Nintendo, Sony Pictures, 20th Century Fox and PBS.

Ackroyd has been granted bail by district judge Howard Riddle but under the condition that he does not access the internet by computer or any web-enabled device such as a smartphone or tablet. His next hearing will be at Southwark Crown Court on 11 May.