Four British members of hacktivist group LulzSec have been imprisoned for their roles in various cyberattacks committed by the group in 2011. Their attacks against government and corporate sites (such as Sony, Nintendo, the FBI, SOCA and the CIA) led to a date in Southwark Crown Court today where each were sentenced following their earlier pleas of guilty in relation to charges of carrying out unauthorized acts with the intention of impairing the operation of computers.
In a statement about the four men – Jake Davis (“Topiary”), Ryan Ackroyd (“Kayla”), Mustafa Al-Bassam (“T-Flow”) and Ryan Cleary (“Viral”) – the CPS said,
“The actions of these LulzSec hackers were cowardly and vindictive. The harm they caused was foreseeable, extensive and intended. Indeed, they boasted of how clever they were with a complete disregard for the impact their actions had on real people’s lives.
“Whilst aggressively protecting their own privacy and identities, they set out to hack and publish hundreds of thousands of innocent individuals’ private details. Companies also suffered serious financial and reputational damage. A senior executive of one American company lost his job and had to move his young family because of death threats.
“Coordinating and carrying out these attacks from the safety of their own bedrooms may have made the group feel detached from the consequences of their actions.
“But to say it was all a bit of fun in no way reflects the reality of their actions. They were in fact committing serious criminal offences for which they have been successfully prosecuted. This case should serve as a warning to other cyber-criminals that they are not invincible.”
Crown Prosecution Service
The sentences given out were as follows –
Ryan Cleary – 32 months in prison
Jake Davis – 24 months in prison
Ryan Ackroyd – 30 months in prison
Mustafa Al-Bassam – 20 months in prison, suspended for 2 years, plus 200 hours of unpaid work.
With the three men who received instant custodial sentences being aged between 20 and 26 I do wonder how they will survive in prison. I imagine it will be a hard couple of years for them but, personally, I think the fact that Ackroyd posed as a 16 year old girl online should enable him to fit into prison life quite seamlessly 😉
Interestingly, another member in the US called Cody Andrew Kretsinger (“Recursion”) only received a one year sentence for his role in the Sony Pictures attack – I always assumed those convicted in America would receive harsher sentences that those who met justice in our overly lenient courts here in Britain.