Alleged LulzSec hackers' plea date moved

Alleged LulzSec hackers' plea date moved

Summary: Four young men from the UK who are accused of being involved in LulzSec hacking attacks have had a plea hearing moved to June.Ryan Cleary, 20, Jake Davis, 19, Ryan Ackroyd, 25, and a 17-year-old boy who cannot be named for legal reasons will appear before Southwark Crown Court on 25 June, Judge Alistair McCreath told the court on Friday.

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Four young men from the UK who are accused of being involved in LulzSec hacking attacks have had a plea hearing moved to June.

Ryan Cleary, 20, Jake Davis, 19, Ryan Ackroyd, 25, and a 17-year-old boy who cannot be named for legal reasons will appear before Southwark Crown Court on 25 June, Judge Alistair McCreath told the court on Friday.

At least one of the defendants is expected to plead innocent, prosecutor Hugh Davies told court nine at Southwark Crown Court.

"It does appear that one or more of these defendants will be contesting these charges," said Davies.

ZDNet UK understands that at least one of the defendants, Jake Davis, is concerned that he may face extradition to the US to face an FBI indictment, depending on the outcome of the case. Davis and Cleary were indicted by the FBI in March.

The four are accused of hacking, or conspiracy to hack, into computer systems of organisations including News International, the NHS, Sony, and Nintendo; security companies HBGary, and Infraguard; the Arizona State Police; and US media organisations 20th Century Fox and PBS.

The young men are also accused of being involved in distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on the websites of a number of organisations, including the Serious Organised Crime Agency, the CIA, News International, and Sony. Cleary is individually accused of installing programs called CF Array and CF Engine on Pentagon computers controlled by the US Air Force, and of launching a DDoS attack against DreamHost, a hosting provider.

Cleary, from Wicklow in Essex, was remanded in custody in March for breaking his bail conditions, and was sent to Chelmsford prison. Cleary was re-arrested after conversing with FBI informant 'Sabu', who was outed in March as Hector Xavier Monsegur. Cleary has a custody time limit of 31 August — any hearing should be set before that date.

Judge McCreath on Friday agreed to change Ackroyd's bail conditions at the request of his defence barrister Kevin Barry. Ackroyd, from Mexborough, Doncaster, had been required to report at a local police station three times a week. McCreath agreed that Ackroyd could be electronically tagged to make sure he abided by a curfew between 9pm and 7am at his home.

Cleary has been indicted by UK prosecutors for maintaining and using a 'botnet' — a network of compromised computers. All of the defendants are accused of obtaining or posting confidential data to websites such as the Pirate Bay, LulzSec.com, and Pastebin.

Topic: Security

Tom Espiner

About Tom Espiner

Tom is a technology reporter for ZDNet.com. He covers the security beat, writing about everything from hacking and cybercrime to threats and mitigation. He also focuses on open source and emerging technologies, all the while trying to cut through greenwash.

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