LulzSec hacker Ryan Cleary today admitted hacking into the websites of the CIA and the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency.
Cleary confessed to launching a string of cyber-attacks on major institutions in Britain and the US with fellow hacker Jake Davis, 19.
The duo targeted sites including the NHS, News International, Sony, Nintendo, Arizona State Police, and film studio 20th Century Fox, and other sites, in a series of so-called distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, where websites are flooded with traffic to make them crash.
Cleary and Davis plotted to carry out the attacks with other unknown members of internet groups Anonymous, Internet Feds, and LulzSec.
Other websites targeted by the pair were Westboro Baptist Church, Bethesda, Eve Online, HBGary, HBGary Federal, PBS Inc, Infragard, and the Arizona State Police.
Cleary also confessed today to four separate charges, including hacking into US Air Force Agency computers, based at the Pentagon.
Both men appeared in the dock at Southwark Crown Court to enter guilty pleas to a series of charges brought against them.
But both Cleary and Davis denied allegations they posted ‘unlawfully obtained confidential computer data’ to public websites including LulzSec.com, Pirate Bay, and PasteBin, in order to encourage offences contrary to the Serious Crime Act.
Alleged co-hackers Ryan Ackroyd, 25, and a 17-year-old A-level student, from south-London, deny their involvement in the DDoS attacks and will stand trial on April 8, 2013.
The name Lulzsec is a combination of ‘lulz’ or ‘lols’, meaning ‘laugh out loud’ and security.
Davis, of Lerwick, Shetland, and Cleary, of Wickford, Essex, pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to do an unauthorised act or acts with intent to impair, or with recklessness as to impairing, the operation of a computer or computers.
They both pleaded not guilty to encouraging or assisting an offence, contrary to section 45 of the Serious Crime Act 2007, and encouraging or assisting offences, contrary to section 46 of the Serious Crime Act 2007.
All the offences are said to have taken place between February and September 2011.
Cleary also pleaded not guilty to four further charges under sections 1 and 3 of the Computer Misuse Act 1990 said to have been committed between January 2009 and June 2011.
Ackroyd, of Oak Road, Mexborough, Doncaster; and the 17-year-old, from south London, also denied two counts of conspiracy to do an unauthorised act or acts with intent to impair, or with recklessness as to impairing, the operation of a computer or computers.
The also deny encouraging or assisting an offence, contrary to section 45 of the Serious Crime Act 2007, and encouraging or assisting offences, contrary to section 46 of the Serious Crime Act 2007.
The hackers will be tried on the remaining charges of April next year. The court heard it will take 3,000 hours to view the material which has been served against Ackroyd alone.
All apart from Cleary were released on bail.
Last week it was reported the US prosecutors have claimed they will no longer be seeking to extradite Cleary but will leave him to be dealt with by the UK courts.
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