US prosecutors have filed charges against 20-year-old UK citizen Ryan Cleary, a suspected member of the Lulzsec hacking collective, in relation to string of cyber attack last summer.
The document detailing the charges goes on to accuse Cleary of a number of "overt acts", including hacking into the systems of broadcaster Fox, defacing American broadcaster PBS’ news website, and breaching the systems of Japanese electronic’s giant Sony. Cleary is also alleged to have stolen information from Sony and Fox, as well as further attacks against a number of US hosting companies.
US prosecutors claim that Cleary and other "known and unknown co-conspirators" first met up around April 2011 in Los Angeles County, California, to plan cyber attacks.
To carry out those attacks, the prosectution says Cleary developed software for and controlled large botnets, and researched targets for vulnerabilities, as well as collaborating with other hackers to share stolen information.
Cleary is also facing charges in the UK for attacking the website of the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA). He wasn’t present at the filing of the US charges, as he is currently being held in a UK jail to face the SOCA charges.
Cleary was arrested after Lulzsec leader, Hector Xavier Monsegur, whose online tag is ‘Sabu’, provided the FBI with information on his fellow members of Lulzsec. Other Lulzec members were arrested in Ireland, Scotland and the US.