A U.K. judge has sentenced four members of hacking collective LulzSec, an offshoot of hacking group Anonymous, for their role in taking down various corporate and government websites between February and September 2011, ZDNet reported. Judge Deborah Taylor sentenced 26-year old Ryan Ackroyd, 20-year old Jake Davis, 18-year old Mustafa al-Bassam and 21-year old Ryan Cleary in a London courtroom on Thursday. More →
The lulz have been few and far between for hacker collective LulzSec lately since several of its members are facing prison terms, and now Australia’s ABC News reports that Australian police have arrested an unnamed 24-year-old man who is purportedly the self-proclaimed leader of LulzSec. Police said that the alleged LulzSec hacker, who is known as “Aush0k” online, is “a senior Australian IT professional who works for the local arm of an international IT company.” The Australian Federal Police arrested the man for allegedly accessing a restricted computer system and for altering data with intent to cause harm. If convicted he could face a maximum of 12 years in prison.
A hacker affiliated with LulzSec, a spin-off of hacking group Anonymous, has been sentenced for breaching computers belonging to Sony Pictures Entertainment and distributing information to other members in 2011. A U.S. District Judge in Los Angeles on Thursday sentenced 24-year old Cody Kretsinger to a year in prison, followed by home detention and 1,000 hours of community service, Reuters reported. The hacker, who was known online as “Recursion,” pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of unauthorized impairment of a protected computer last April. Sony has said that Krestinger and other LulzSec members cost the company more than $600,000 in damages.
The lulz are over for three hackers who have pleaded guilty to conducting cyberattacks against high-profile websites in the United States and the United Kingdom. The Guardian reports that three British hackers from the LulzSec collective — Ryan Ackroyd, 26; Jake Davis, 20; and Mustafa Al-Bassam, 18 — admitted to hacking websites belonging to Sony (SNE), News International and the U.K.’s National Health Service. The three hackers are set to receive their sentences on May 14th along with fellow LulzSec hacker Ryan Cleary, who last year pleaded guilty to hacking into websites for the Pentagon, the CIA, the NHS, News International, PBS, Sony, Nintendo and the 20th Century Fox film studio.
Having some lulz at the expense of another company’s security probably seemed like a better idea before it resulted in a possible 15-year jail sentence. Per the Telegraph, U.S. authorities on Tuesday arrested 20-year-old Raynaldo Rivera of Tempe, Arizona on conspiracy and hacking charges related to a hack of Sony (SNE) Pictures’ computer systems. Authorities allege that Rivera and fellow members of the LulzSec hacking collective raided the Sony systems to obtain the names, email addresses, passwords and phone numbers of thousands of people who had registered for various Sony contests. One of Rivera’s alleged co-conspirators, 24-year-old Cody Kretsinger, pleaded guilty to hacking charges related to the Sony attack earlier this year. More →
Two LulzSec hackers may soon learn that it’s easier to break into government databases than it is to break out of jail. Ryan Cleary, 19, and Jake Davis, 18, on Monday both pleaded guilty in a London court to charges that they attacked both government websites and major commercial websites, the BBC reports. The two men, both citizens of the United Kingdom, admitted to hacking into the Pentagon, the CIA, the U.K.’s National Health Service, News International, PBS, Sony, Nintendo and the 20th Century Fox film studio. Both men, however, pleaded not guilty to more serious charges that they “unlawfully obtained confidential computer data” and posted it on popular hacker hubs such as LulzSec.com and Pirate Bay. A trial for those charges has been set for April 2013, the BBC reports. More →
An alleged LulzSec hacker won’t be having many more lulz if he’s thrown in jail. Per the Los Angeles Times, 20-year-old British man Ryan Cleary has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Los Angeles for allegedly hacking into several major media websites including the sites for the Fox reality show “The X-Factor” and PBS’s “News Hour.” Cleary hacked into the sites to either deface them or steal peoples’ personal data, the indictment alleges, and he could face up to 25 years in prison if convicted. In all, Cleary faces one count of conspiracy and two counts of the unauthorized impairment of protected computers. More →
It’s no mystery that the hackers behind notorious “hacktivist” groups Anonymous and LulzSec cause a tremendous amount of trouble for the companies and agencies they target, but thousands of young web users cheer them on with the belief that these groups are fighting for Internet freedom around the world. According to a recent profile, however, this isn’t always the case. In a rare in-depth interview with Anonymous members, The Daily Beast’s Parmy Olson uncovers the dark side of Anonymous, likening the divide between the group’s activist members and its pranksters to Batman and the Joker. While some Anonymous members indeed look to topple oppressors, others simply “try to cause chaos, lulz, whatever to have fun.” And while many hacker activists continue to fight the good fight, as they view it, the more playful Anonymous hackers are skeptical that they will ever really make a difference. “I don’t think [Anonymous] can change much in the world,” one group member told The Daily Beast. Parmy’s full interview is linked below. More →
Hackers associated with the group “Anonymous” have published Symantec’s Norton AntiVirus source code on The Pirate Bay. The source code was stolen in 2006 and after alleged attempts to extort money from Symantec failed, the hactivist group released it late Thursday evening. The file is 1.07GB in size and includes the source code to a number of products within the software suite, such as the consumer version, the corporate edition, and other files for Windows, Unix and NetWare, according to a report from ZDNet. In addition to the source code, the torrent includes a note calling for the release of the LulzSec hackers who were arrested on Tuesday — with the exception of Sabu, the group’s leader who reportedly worked with the FBI to build cases against other members of the group. Symantec has previously said that the breach will “not affect any current Norton product,” claiming the “current version of Norton Utilities has been completely rebuilt and shares no common code with Norton Utilities 2006. The code that has been posted for the 2006 version poses no security threat to users of the current version of Norton Utilities.” More →
The laughs are reportedly over for five top members of the hacker group LulzSec who were arrested on Tuesday and charged as part of a conspiracy case filed in New York federal court. FoxNews.com reports that the arrests were part of a multinational sting across the United Kingdom, Ireland and the United States on Tuesday morning, and LulzSec leader Hector Xavier Monsegur, who operated online under the alias “Sabu,” provided the Federal Bureau of Investigation with information leading to the arrests. According to the report, Monsegur has been working with the FBI for months. “This is devastating to the organization,” an FBI official told FoxNews.com. “We’re chopping off the head of LulzSec.” Read on for more. More →
Cody Kretsinger, the alleged LulzSec member who was arrested in Arizona last week, was a student at the University of Advancing Technology in Arizona with the dream of one day working in network security for the National Security Agency or the Department of Defense. Krebs on Security noticed Kretsinger was named “Student of the Month” during his tenure at the UAT, which posted an interview with the accused hacker. “While I wouldn’t mind being a penetration tester, I think it’s a lot more fun to try to build and secure a network and its devices from the ground up,” Krestinger said in the interview. “I hope that I’ll be able to work for the Department of Defense. From what I hear, they’re pretty good at what I want to do.” Krestinger also mentioned he was working on “larger projects” that he could not talk about, but did not discuss whether those projects were for the school, the government or for LulzSec. LulzSec publicly attacked a number of high profile targets this year including the CIA’s website, a number of U.S. police departments, Sony and the U.S. Senate, and Kretsinger is believed to have been a part of the Sony attack. More →
The FBI has arrested at least two alleged members of “LulzSec” and “Anonymous,” FoxNews reported on Thursday. One LulzSec hacker was arrested at a technical school in Phoenix, Arizona and is believed to have been behind the infamous attacks on Sony in late May. A second hacker was arrested in San Francisco and manhunts are ongoing in Minnesota, Montana and New Jersey according to an FBI official speaking to Fox News. 32 Anonymous hackers were detained in Turkey in June while another 16 were arrested in the United Kingdom and the United States. A 19-year old LulzSec member named Jack Davis who went by the handle “Topiary” was arrested in July and later released on bail. Anonymous and LulzSec are believed to have been behind a number of high-profile attacks against the U.S. government, Sony, Apple and other targets. Anonymous has egged on the FBI with numerous statements over the past few months and even published a public letter that stated: “Your threats to arrest us are meaningless to us as you cannot arrest an idea … there is nothing – absolutely nothing – you can possibly to do make us stop.” More →
Four hackers associated with Anonymous and LulzSec were released from a London courthouse on bail after a hearing on Wednesday. Peter David Gibson, Ashley Rhodes, Christopher Weatherhead and a 17-year old male are facing charges in the UK related to hacking. The bunch are accused of being involved with hacker collectives that attacked major corporations and the U.S. government. While out on bail, the four men are prohibited from using internet relay chats (IRC), which previously allowed them to stay in touch with other hackers. In addition, Gibson can no longer use the handle “Peter” online, Rhodes can not identify himself as “NikonElite” and Weatherhead cannot use the name “Nerdo.” The 17-year old hacker who also appeared in court was told he cannot use his online nickname, either. Read on for more. More →