A British group of hackers that caused millions of pounds worth of damage were handed jail sentences this time last week, the group carried out a number of Cyber Attacks in 2011 and were responsible for hacking into and stealing data from many high profile organisations including:
- The CIA (central intelligence agency)
- SOCA (Serious Organised Crime Agency)
- Sony Pictures
- EA Games
- News International
- The US Air Force!
Ryan Cleary (21), Mustafa Al- Bassam (18), Jake Davis (20) and Ryan Ackroyd (26) were handed sentences ranging between a 20 month suspended sentence for Al -Bassam to a 30 month prison sentence for Cleary. The US law enforcement agencies are apparently calling for some of the men to be extradited to the US.
The men collectively pleaded guilty to charges of carrying out acts to impair the operation of a computer, hacking and launching cyber attacks against organisations. In the UK it is a criminal offence under the Computer Misuse Act 1990 to hack into somebody else’s computer and send them a form of a virus.
Lawyers from the CPS commented:
- The harm caused by the group was foreseeable, intended and extensive.
- The men boasted about their actions and had a complete disregard for the impact their actions had on those affected by their acts.
- It is clear from the evidence that men intended to achieve international notoriety and publicity.
- These are not immature men messing around they are at the cutting edge of a contemporary and emerging species of criminal offender known as the cybercriminal.
- This case serves as a warning to other cybercriminals that they are not invincible!