LulzSec Hackers ‘Thought They Were Latter-Day Pirates’

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 accused said to be on “cutting edge” of cyber crime

Four members of now-defunct hacktivist group LulzSec, facing sentencing for attacks on numerous organisations including the CIA and Sony, thought they were “latter-day pirates”, according to prosecutors.

Ryan Cleary, Ryan Ackroyd, Mustafa Al-Bassam and Jake Davis are all to be sentenced tomorrow, but Southwark Crown Court heard much about their activities today. They have all pleaded guilty to various offences.

lulzsecLulzSec lolz

They also attacked the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), News International and the NHS in the UK, as well as the Pentagon. Prosecutor Sandip Patel said they were “at the cutting edge of the contemporary, emerging species of international criminal offending known as cyber crime,” according to various reports.

It was alleged attacks, which consisted of distributed denial of service (DDoS) hits to take websites down and actual hacks where data was stolen and posted online, cost target firms millions.

“It’s clear from the evidence that they intended to achieve extensive national and international notoriety and publicity,” Patel added. “This is not about young immature men messing about.”

Law enforcement, led by the Met’s Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU), has been cracking down on hacktivists. Earlier this year, 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.

Are you a security expert? Try our quiz!