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LulzSec hackers sentenced to between one and three years in prison by UK court

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Hacker (STOCK)
Hacker (STOCK)

Four UK hackers have been sentenced for their role in online attacks conducted under the banner of LulzSec. According to security group Sophos and Court News UK, Ryan Cleary, aka "Viral," was sentenced to 32 months in jail but will only serve half his sentence. Jake "Topiary" Davis will serve two years in a young offenders' facility, while Ryan "Kayla" Ackroyd will serve half of a 30-month sentence. Mustafa "Tflow" al-Bassam, who was 16 at the time of his arrest, has had a 20-month sentence suspended for two years and must serve 300 hours of community service. He will be monitored for six months.

All four men were sentenced under plea bargains

All four men were sentenced under the terms of plea bargains after variously pleading guilty to denial-of-service attacks on Sony, 20th Century Fox, Nintendo, the CIA, and other sites, and to attempting to break into computers owned by the UK National Health Service, Sony, and others. They denied posting personal account information on sites like Pastebin and The Pirate Bay. Cleary also pled guilty to four more charges, including hacking Air Force computers and possessing indecent images of children — he will be sentenced for the latter at a later hearing.

LulzSec, which splintered from larger hacktivist collective Anonymous, managed to temporarily bring down several sites in 2011 and 2012. But several high-profile members were arrested in a series of police raids, and it was revealed that Hector Xavier Monsegur, a LulzSec member also known as Sabu, had been cooperating with the FBI.

Davis and Cleary confessed last year to committing unauthorized acts to "impair" a computer network, while al-Bassam and Ackroyd did not plead guilty until last month. Two US members of LulzSec also admitted hacking Sony's site and obtaining confidential information. Jeremy Hammond, a US LulzSec activist arrested for his alleged role in a hack on intelligence company Stratfor, has yet to be prosecuted. Earlier this year, four members of Anonymous were sentenced for separate hacking crimes. The LulzSec and Anonymous arrests remain one of the largest anti-hacking sweeps in recent memory, and American law enforcement has also attempted to extradite some of the UK hackers for prosecution.