A fourth member of the LulzSec “hacktivist” group pleaded guilty to disrupting websites at Sony Corp. (6758), Nintendo Co. (7974) and News Corp. (NWSA:US)
Ryan Ackroyd, 26, entered the plea at a hearing in London today after having previously denied his involvement in the cyber-attacks. He will be sentenced on May 14 along with the three other hackers, Judge Deborah Taylor said.
“They turned to him for his expertise as a hacker,” prosecutor Sandip Patel said at the hearing.
Ackroyd, from Mexborough, England, carried out attacks on the websites of the Arizona State Police, Sony, News Corp.’s Twentieth Century Fox, the U.K.’s National Health Service and technology-security company HBGary Inc. between February 2011 and September 2011, prosecutors said in the indictment.
Jake Davis, 20, and Mustafa Al-Bassam, 18, also members of LulzSec who were defendants in the case, had previously pleaded to disrupting websites at the Central Intelligence Agency and the U.K.’s Serious Organised Crime Agency.
The hackers modified some computers, including adjusting security settings and access to confidential data, and redirected visitors to the hackers’ websites, prosecutors said.
Ryan Cleary, the fourth member of the group, pleaded guilty to six charges in June.
Cleary, from Wickford, England, also admitted to installing or altering files on Pentagon computers operated by the U.S. Air Force and constructing a network of computers, known as a botnet, which could perform distributed denial of service attacks and direct it to target websites operated by a U.K. web hosting site.
Denial-of-service attacks flood computer networks with requests for information until they shut down.
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