Ryan Cleary, the 20-year-old Briton who was the first arrested in the international sweep to shut down Lulz Security, has pleaded guilty along with Jake Davis, 19, on a long list of charges for computer crimes. Among the entities hacked by LulzSec, which characterized itself as a mischief-maker, were The CIA, PBS, News International, Nintendo, Sony, Britain’s National Health Service and HB Gary. Their worst offense was the hacking and publishing of the home addresses, e-mail accounts and phone numbers of members of the Arizona State Police.
Ryan Ackroyd, 25, and an unnamed 17-year-old juvenile have pleaded not guilty and will be tried next April. All four denied charges of encouraging or assisting others in committing cyber crimes, and prosecutors are deciding if they will try Cleary and Davis on those charges. After the Brits get through with them, the Americans have prosecution rights.
Cleary suffers from autism and his attorney has said that she will fight extradition to the United States because of his condition. An accommodation could be reached if Cleary pleaded guilty to the U. S. charges in absentia, and the British government accepted custody of him for the duration of is American sentence. Contrary to the beliefs of WikiLeaks, Anonymous and LulzSec, the United States and the United Kingdom have histories of making accommodations for compassionate reasons.
LulzSec was loosely affiliated with the group Anonymous, but claimed a less political agenda. They specialized in defacing the public websites of news organizations and businesses, but stepped well outside of that with the publication of the Arizona State Police data which put families in danger. They stole data from an FBI partner organization, InfraGard and jammed the website of the British Serious and Organized Crime Agency.
LulzSec’s “leader” was called Sabu, and in March the United States revealed that Sabu was in fact an FBI informant named Hector Xavier Monsegur. Law enforcement in Britain, the U. S. and other countries made a half-dozen arrests off his information. Cleary had been arrested shortly before the raids.