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Member of LulzSec hacker group pleads guilty in 2011 cyberattacks

April 09, 2013|By Salvador Rodriguez
  • Ryan Ackroyd, 26, and three other members of the Internet hacker group LulzSec who pleaded guilty to high-profile cyberattacks in 2011 face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
Ryan Ackroyd, 26, and three other members of the Internet hacker group LulzSec… (Facundo Arrizabalaga /…)

A British man has pleaded guilty to his involvement in cyberattacks launched by LulzSec, an Internet hacker group that in 2011 targeted the websites of Sony, the FBI, CIA, PBS and others.

Ryan Ackroyd, 26, otherwise known as "Kayla" among hackers, admitted Tuesday to one count of carrying out an unauthorized act to impair the operation of a computer, according to the Associated Press.

Ackroyd joins Mustafa Al-Bassam, 18, Jake Davis, 20, and Ryan Cleary, 21, who as members of the group pleaded guilty to the 2011 cyberattacks. According to tech news site Ars Technica the four hackers will be sentenced May 14 by London's Southwark Crown Court. They face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

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LulzSec rose to prominence in the summer of 2011 after attacking numerous high-profile companies and organizations. The group targeted the websites and computer systems of the CIA, the FBI, the U.S. Senate, the Arizona Department of Public Safety, a British police agency, Sony, Fox, PBS, and Nintendo, as well as porn and video game companies.

Among its most notable attacks, LulzSec posted a story on the PBS website that said rappers Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls were still alive. The group also hacked the accounts of several thousand Sony Pictures users.

The group, which draws its name from "lol," Internet slang for "laugh out loud," and the word "security," ceased the cyberattacks after a few months. The group said it launched the attacks to point out flaws in the targeted organizations' security. During its attacks, the group also infiltrated the systems of government organizations and leaked their documents.

Shortly after the arrests began, the FBI disclosed that one of the group's leaders, Hector Xavier Monsegur, who went by the online name "Sabu," was actually a government informant.

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