LulzSec Members Plead Guilty To NHS, Sony Attacks

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe's Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

Four LulzSec hackers now await sentencing next month

Members of the now defunct hacking group LulzSec have pleaded guilty to attacks on various organisations, including the National Health Service (NHS) and Sony.

Ryan Ackroyd joined two other LulzSec hackers, Jake Davis and Mustafa Al-Bassam, in admitting to attacks, which also affected the CIA and the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA). Al-Bassam is just 18 and believed to be the youngest yet to admit charges linked to LulzSec, the Guardian reported.

lulzsecLulzSec crew face sentencing

Ackroyd, who went by the pseudonym Kayla, was set to face trial later this year, but decided to plead guilty to one count of an unauthorised act to impair the operation of a computer at Southwark Crown Court today. He will avoid trial on another charge related to a separate distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, which will lie on file.

The three LulzSec members are now due to be sentenced on 14 May, alongside Ryan Cleary, a 21-year-old who previously pleaded guilty to six connected charges.

The news comes just over two months after two men were handed sentences amounting to 25 months in jail for their part in attacks carried out on behalf of Anonymous, another hacktivist group affiliated with LulzSec.

Christopher Weatherhead, a 22-year-old who attempted to fight the charges against him, was given 18 months in prison, whilst Ashley Rhodes was sent to jail for seven months.

Both LulzSec and Anonymous wreaked havoc throughout 2011 and 2012, knocking thousands of websites offline and pilfering data from well-known companies. LulzSec eventually closed shop, but Anonymous fights on.

Yet some have suggested Anonymous is losing its way. The OpIsrael campaign has been cited as an example of the group’s waning ability to cause genuine trouble, as sources within the country told TechWeek the impact of the attacks was minimal, and claims Anonymous caused over $3bn in damage were labelled “ridiculous”.

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