Two British hackers pleaded guilty in a London court on Monday to plotting attacks against computers of international firms, law enforcement bodies and government agencies including the CIA, in a cyber crime spree that gained global attention. Ryan Cleary, 20, of southeast England, and Jake Davis, 19, of Scotland, both members of the hacking group LulzSec, pleaded guilty at London's Southwark Crown Court to charges they conspired with others to hack websites last year, Britain's Press Association reported. Targets included the CIA, Britain's Serious Organised Crime Agency and National Health Service, the Arizona State Police, Nintendo, Sony and Rupert Murdoch's British newspaper group News International and 20th Century Fox film studio.
Targeted websites were hit by so-called distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, flooding them with traffic until they crashed.
Cleary, who has been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome and is also wanted in the United States, also admitted four additional charges including an attack on Pentagon computers.
Two other suspects denied involvement in the DDoS attacks. All four denied further charges of “posting unlawfully obtained confidential computer data to public websites”, such as LulzSec's website. The other two suspects will stand trial next year, while it has yet to be decided whether Cleary and Davis will also stand trial for the charges that they deny.
LulzSec is an offshoot of the international hacking group Anonymous. Both groups embarked on a cyber-crime spree attracting widespread global media coverage.