A US federal grand jury has indicted the now infamous LulzSec hacker Ryan Cleary, a British citizen, on several counts of online criminal acts.
The court accused Cleary of helping to carry out attacks against Fox, PBS and Sony. He faces one count of conspiracy and two counts of impairment of protected computers.
“Cleary knowingly caused the transmission of a program, information, code, and command, and as a result of such conduct, intentionally and without authorization caused damage by impairing the integrity and availability of data, a program, a system, and information on a computer system that was used in an affecting interstate and foreign commerce…” the indictment read.
Cleary, 20, is now in custody in the UK awaiting prosecution and could face up to 25 years in a US prison if he's tried and convicted in the Los Angeles court.
Government funded Moscow-based news outlet RT, known for its thinly veiled support of hacker collectives, reported that the US may seek Cleary’s extradition from the UK, citing a “spokesperson for the FBI."
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While RT's report has not been corroborated by other news outlets, the US government has requested the extradition of other suspects accused of cybercrimes and violations of copyright law.
Last March, for instance, federal authorities requested the extradition of Kim Dotcom, a citizen of New Zealand on bail in Aukland. Dotcom is the founder of Megaupload, a file sharing site that was taken down by the US government for several violations of US copyright law. Copyright infringement carried out by the site and it's users exceed more than $500 million in “estimated harm,” according to the US government.
A number of LulzSec’s original members have been arrested and detained since they disbanded last July. The group's former de facto leader, Sabu, made headlines last March when the FBI revealed he had struck a plea deal and was acting as an informant.
During their 50-day hacking spree during the summer of 2011, the group took credit for attacks on sites belonging to Sony, PBS.org, the US Senate, CIA, Arizona sheriffs and many others before disbanding in July of last year.
As part of the antiSec (anti security) movement, LulzSec stands against the computer security industry in support of free access to information. While the real reasons that motivated their members to commit these particular cyber-attacks remain unknown, LulzSec always asserted that it was just "fo dah lulz."
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