U.K. resident and LulzSec member Ryan Cleary was indicted in Los Angeles federal court today for hacking the websites of Fox, PBS, and Sony, among others.
The 19-year-old is accused of orchestrating and conspiring with fellow hackers to intentionally cause damage without authorization to a computer, according to a copy of the indictment that was posted online by the LA Times.
The hacks in question took place about a year ago.
In April 2011, LulzSec hacked into the servers of Fox Entertainment Group and stole information about the TV show The X Factor.
In May 2011, the website for PBS NewsHour was defaced and hackers posted a fake news story that said slain rapper Tupac Shakur was still alive. LulzSec reportedly took offense to a show aired by PBS Frontline, which profiled suspected WikiLeaks mole and former U.S. Army intelligence analyst, Private First Class Bradley Manning.
A month later LulzSec offered up 54MB of Sony Computer Entertainment Developer Network source code, announcing its latest round of “sownage” on Twitter. That data later showed up on the lulzsecurity.com website.
Cleary is also accused of participating in distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on the League of Legends gaming network and Britain’s Serious Organized Crime Agency (SOCA).
Thanks to the SOCA hack and others, Cleary has already been arrested in the U.K. In June 2011, Scotland Yard charged him with violating the country’s computer fraud laws for participating in cyber attacks on various British organizations.
According to CBS News, Cleary was taken into custody by U.K. officials in March, where he remains. He could face up to 25 years in prison if convicted. An FBI spokeswoman told RT.com that U.S. officials might eventually ask that Cleary be extradited to the states.
Cleary’s indictment comes three months after the FBI charged six hackers associated with Anonymous and LulzSec with crimes related to cyber attacks on high-profile targets like Fox, Sony Pictures, Stratfor, and more.
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