British court hands down sentences for four British hackers

May 16, 2013 at 1:44 PM   |   Comments

LONDON, May 16 (UPI) -- Four British members of the hacking group Lulzsec, which carried out a series of high profile cyber-attacks in 2011, have been sentenced.

Ryan Cleary, Jake Davis, Mustafa al-Bassam and Ryan Ackroyd were part of the Lulzsec group that targeted Sony Pictures, games-maker Electronic Arts, News International and Britain's Serious Organized Crime Agency.

Cleary was sentenced to 32 months in jail, Davis to two years and Ackroyd to 30 months, while al-Bassam was given a 20-month suspended sentence, the BBC reported Thursday.

The cyberattacks carried out by the group were "cowardly and vindictive," Andrew Hadik of the Crown Prosecution Service said.

"The harm they caused was foreseeable, extensive and intended," he said. "Indeed, they boasted of how clever they were with a complete disregard for the impact their actions had on real people's lives."

U.S. law enforcement agencies have also lodged indictments against the four, who could face extradition to the United States.

Ackroyd pleaded guilty to carrying out an unauthorized act to impair the operation of a computer while the other three pleaded guilty to charges of hacking and launching cyberattacks.

"This is not about young immature men messing about," prosecutor Sandip Patel said. "They are at the cutting edge of a contemporary and emerging species of criminal offender known as a cybercriminal."

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