Plea date set for suspected Anonymous hackers

A court has ordered Ryan Cleary and Jake Davis, two teenagers accused of taking part in Anonymous and LulzSec hacking campaigns, to appear to enter pleas in January

Suspected Anonymous hackers Ryan Cleary and Jake Davis have been ordered to appear in court in January to enter their pleas against charges of involvement in distributed denial-of-service attacks.

Lawyers for the two teenagers, who are accused of taking part in attacks on computer systems as part of the Anonymous and LulzSec activist groups, attended a hearing at Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday. The two were arrested separately, and the hearing is the first time their two cases have been brought together.

Cleary, a 19-year-old from Essex, was arrested and charged in June on suspicion of maintaining a network of compromised computers used in distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca), the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) and other organisations. The Anonymous and Lulzsec hacking groups claimed responsibility for the attack against Soca as part of the AntiSec campaign.

Davis is suspected of being LulzSec spokesman 'Topiary' and of having taken part in the Soca campaign. The 19-year-old was arrested in the Shetland Islands in July by officers from the Metropolitan Police Central eCrime Unit (PCeU) and was charged with various offences under the Computer Misuse Act.

The defendants, who did not appear at court on Tuesday, were bailed to appear on 27 January to enter a plea. The Crown Prosecution Service plans to serve its case in a hearing on 16 December.

ZDNet UK understands that the Crown Prosecution Service and police have been given time to sift through a mass of forensic evidence from computers seized in raids earlier this year.

Last week the Metropolitan Police charged a third man, Peter David Gibson, a student from Hartlepool, with suspected involvement in Anonymous attacks.

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