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

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing 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.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid