Members of the LulzSec “hacktivisit” hacking collective have today been sentenced for their part in a string of high-profile web attacks that targeted companies including Electronic Arts, Sony, Fox News and the CIA.
All four of the group on trial each received a custodial sentence after pleading guilty, with a combined total of over eight years overall.
Jake Davis (known by the alias Topiary) received a two year sentence in a young offender’s institution. Mustafa al-Bassam (AKA T-Flow) was handed a 20-month prison sentence suspended for two years along with 300 hours of unpaid community service work. Ryan Cleary was issued a 32 month sentence, and Ryan Ackroyd was given a 30 month sentence. Cleary and Ackroyd however are only expected to serve half of their sentences in jail.
“The actions of these Lulzsec hackers were cowardly and vindictive. The harm they caused was foreseeable, extensive and intended. Indeed, they boasted of how clever they were with a complete disregard for the impact their actions had on real people’s lives,” said Andrew Hadik, CPS London reviewing lawyer.
“Whilst aggressively protecting their own privacy and identities, they set out to hack and publish hundreds of thousands of innocent individuals’ private details. Companies also suffered serious financial and reputational damage. A senior executive of one American company lost his job and had to move his young family because of death threats.”
For Hadik, the sentencing will act as a stark reminder for would-be hackers that, despite their relative anonymity at times, they are not above the law and will be found.
“Coordinating and carrying out these attacks from the safety of their own bedrooms may have made the group feel detached from the consequences of their actions. But to say it was all a bit of fun in no way reflects the reality of their actions. They were in fact committing serious criminal offences for which they have been successfully prosecuted. This case should serve as a warning to other cyber-criminals that they are not invincible.”