Two British hackers linked to the notorious LulzSec pleaded guilty in London court on Monday to attacking the websites of a number of high-profile institutions around the world.
Ryan Cleary, 19, and Jake Davis, 18, admitted to conspiring with other members of LulzSec, an offshoot of the Anonymous hacking collective, to attack government, media, and law enforcement sites last year, the Associated Press reported, citing Gryff Waldron, an official at London's Southwark Crown Court.
Lulzsec claimed responsibility for attacking sites belonging to the Central Intelligence Agency, Arizona State Police, the U.K.'s Serious Organised Crime Agency, and Britain's National Health Service. Other targets have included the U.S. Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), Rupert Murdoch's News International, Nintendo, Sony, and security firm HBGary Inc.
Two other defendants, Ryan Ackroyd, 25 and an unnamed 17-year-old have pleaded not guilty to the same charges and will face trial next April. All four defendants have denied two counts of encouraging or assisting others to commit computer offenses and fraud. Prosecutors are still deciding whether to take Cleary and Davis to court on those charges.
Cleary, nabbed by police in an earlier raid, also pleaded guilty to hacking into Pentagon and U.S. Air Force computers as well as providing other hackers with hijacked computer networks to launch denial-of-service attacks.
Cleary is also facing a U.S. federal indictment for hacking the websites of Fox, PBS, and Sony, among others. An FBI spokeswoman told RT.com earlier this month that U.S. officials might eventually ask that Cleary be extradited to the states. However, Cleary's attorney reportedly said the hacker is autistic and his legal team will "fiercely contest" any move to extradite him to the U.S.
Also, the FBI in March charged six hackers associated with Anonymous and LulzSec, including Davis, with charges related to cyber attacks on high-profile targets.