Alleged LulzSec member indicted in US
Cleary accused of attacking Sony Pictures and Fox Entertainment
TechLife | 14 Jun 2012 :
A US federal grand jury has indicted Ryan Cleary, accusing him of orchestrating a hacking rampage last year that victimised Sony Pictures Entertainment, Fox Entertainment Group and others.
The indictment, filed on Tuesday in Los Angeles district court, alleges Cleary ran a powerful botnet used to vandalise websites and steal sensitive data as part of the hacking group Lulz Security, or LulzSec.
LulzSec, an offshoot of Anonymous, fell under heavy scrutiny from law enforcement worldwide for its successful attacks and relentless bravado, often publicised through its Twitter account.
Cleary was arrested in June 2011 at his home in Wickford, Essex, for allegedly taking part in the DDoS attacks against Britain's Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA). He is charged in the UK with five computer-related offenses and is accused of distributing botnet programs to attack SOCA as well as websites of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry and the British Phonographic Industry.
An FBI spokeswoman said the US will evaluate after Cleary's legal proceedings have finished in the UK whether to request his extradition.
Cleary, who has been diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome, is in jail awaiting trial. He was arrested again in March for breaching his bail conditions by using the Internet and contacting former LulzSec leader Hector Xavier Monsegur, The Guardian reported.
Monsegur, who was known as 'Sabu,' was arrested in secret by the FBI and provided information that led to another spate of LulzSec arrests, including two Irish men, one American man and four in the UK. Monsegur pleaded guilty in August 2011 to various hacking charges, including attacks against HBGary Federal, the Public Broadcasting System, Sony Pictures and Fox.
Cleary is also accused of either attacking or stealing data from Fox, PBS, Sony, Riot Games and SOCA. He is charged with one count of conspiracy and two counts of unauthorised impairment of a protected computer. If convicted, he could face a maximum of 25 years in prison.
The indictment alleges Cleary controlled a botnet that may have been composed of hundreds of thousands of computers.
IDG News Service