News / Europe

LulzSec Hackers 'at Cutting Edge' of Cyber Crime

A May 31, 2011 frame grab of the PBS website, which was hacked.
A May 31, 2011 frame grab of the PBS website, which was hacked.
Reuters
Four British hackers who took part in 2011 cyber-attacks on targets ranging from the CIA to Sony were audacious, arrogant men whose motivation was “anarchic self-amusement'', a court heard on Wednesday.
 
The men, who have pleaded guilty to a variety of offenses, were members of the hacking collective LulzSec that caused millions of dollars of damage to corporate and government computer networks during an online crime spree they boasted about on Twitter.
 
“They are at the cutting edge of a contemporary, emerging species of international criminal offending known as cyber crime,'' prosecutor Sandip Patel told a London court at the start of the men's sentencing hearing.
 
“LulzSec saw themselves as latter-day pirates,'' he said.
 
Mustafa al-Bassam arrives at Southwark Crown Court in central London, Britain, May 15, 2013.Mustafa al-Bassam arrives at Southwark Crown Court in central London, Britain, May 15, 2013.
x
Mustafa al-Bassam arrives at Southwark Crown Court in central London, Britain, May 15, 2013.
Mustafa al-Bassam arrives at Southwark Crown Court in central London, Britain, May 15, 2013.
The four men being sentenced were Ryan Cleary, 21; Ryan Ackroyd, 26; Mustafa Al-Bassam, 18, and Jake Davis, 20. In their hacker days, they hid their identities behind the online monikers ViraL, Kayla, tFlow and Topiary, respectively.
 
“The real-life identities of the hackers were aggressively concealed. Similar protection did not extend to their victims,'' Patel said.
 
Among other attacks, the men hacked into Pentagon computers, crashed the CIA's website, stole millions of items of private individuals' data such as passwords and user names from companies including Fox or Sony and posted them online on sites such as Pirate Bay.
 
Their "exploits", as they described them, also included hacking into News International's computer system to post a fake story, purporting to be from the Sun tabloid, announcing that owner Rupert Murdoch had committed suicide.
 
They also attacked the U.S. public broadcaster PBS's website, redirecting users to a fake news story reporting that the late rapper Tupac Shakur was alive.
 
In addition to the hacking offenses to which all four have pleaded guilty, Cleary alone has pleaded guilty to charges of downloading pornographic images of babies and children.
 
“Laughing at your security''
 
Patel said the four men's activities were as much about self-promotion as they were about hacking, describing them as adept at getting the attention of media and of hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers and motivated by “anarchic self-amusement''.
 
He said LulzSec was a splinter group that had evolved out of Anonymous, a bigger, shapeless “hacktivist'' collective, but that LulzSec lacked the libertarian political agenda of Anonymous.
 
He said the LulzSec slogan was “laughing at your security since 2011'' and that a press release in August 2011 had said they had acted in the way they had “just because we could''.
 
The name LulzSec is a combination of “lulz'', a distortion of the commonly used “LOL'' or “laugh out loud'', and security.
 
The alleged ringleader of LulzSec was U.S.-based Hector Xavier Monsegur, known as “Sabu'', who was arrested in June 2011 but agreed to cooperate, maintaining his online persona for a time and leading the FBI to other members of the group.
 
Patel said the core members of LulzSec were Monsegur, Ackroyd, Al-Bassam and Davis. He said Cleary was not a core member but wanted to be.
 
Monsegur is awaiting sentencing in the United States, while a 24-year-old IT worker was arrested in Australia in April in connection with LulzSec.
 
Lawyers for the four British hackers were due to address the court about mitigating factors later on Wednesday. Judge Deborah Taylor is expected to sentence them either on Wednesday or Thursday.

You May Like

Missouri Town Braces for Possible Racial Unrest

Situation in Ferguson hinges on whether white police officer will be indicted for August shooting death of unarmed black teen; decision could come Monday More

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of 1930s Deadly Famine

President Poroshenko compares Soviet-era ‘genocide’ to current tactics of pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine's east More

S. Philippines Convictions Elusive 5 Years After Election-related Killings

Officials vowed to deliver justice as the nation marked the anniversary of the country's worst political massacre that left 58 dead, more than half media More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Faminei
X
Daniel Schearf
November 23, 2014 4:32 PM
During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video Law Enforcement, Activists in Ferguson Agree to Keep Peace

Authorities in Ferguson, Missouri, say they have agreed with protest leaders to maintain peace when a grand jury reaches its decision on whether to indict a white police officer in the shooting death of a black teenager. Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, has been the scene of intermittent violence since the August 9 shooting intensified long-simmering antagonism between the police and the African-American community. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid