It shouldn’t come as a tremendous shock that yet another member of LulzSec has pleaded guilty to hacking today given the brazen nature and self-promotion that followed their attacks on both governments and privately held businesses.
Ryan Ackroyd, 26, who looks quite frankly more likely to kick your teeth in at a football match then hack your security system entered a plea today that saw him finally fessing up to his involvement with the group.
Prosecutors claimed that Ackroyd, from Mexborough, England, carried out attacks on the websites of the Arizona State Police, Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE), News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) (NASDAQ:NWS)’s Twentieth Century Fox, the U.K.’s National Health Service and technology-security company HBGary Inc. between February 2011 and September 2011.
Until today, Ackroyd had steadfastly denied his involvement in the group that has been labeled by prosecutors as a splinter-group of the Anonymous hacking collective that broke away in May 2011.
While his and his cohorts’ targets included the NHS and the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca), Ackroyd plead guilty to only one charge of carrying out an unauthorized act to impair the operation of a computer, contrary to the Criminal Law Act 1977. I must say it, when you break a mouthful of an English law like that it’s not just illegal, it sounds impolite.
“They turned to him for his expertise as a hacker,” prosecutor Sandip Patel said at the hearing.
Jake Davis, 20, and Mustafa Al-Bassam, 18, had already pleaded guilty to attacking computers at the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency. It was there that they also modified computers, including adjusting security settings, and in their infinite wisdom directing people to their hacking website.
Ryan Cleary, the fourth member of the group, pleaded guilty to six charges in June and stands to be the most heavily sentenced of the group given the amount of charges.
While clearly the group needed to be prosecuted, it’s difficult to not look at them as just a bunch of bored kids. Their work was sloppy and their arrests imminent following the attacks which included one at News International, owned by Rupert Murdoch, and owners of The Sun, where they planted a fake story of the Australian tycoon/tyrants death. Additionally, they placed a story about Tupac Shakur being alive in an attack on PBS’ website.
The four will face sentencing on May 14th.