Two British teenagers in court over charge of hacking major websites

Wed, Aug 31, 2011, 01:00

TWO BRITISH teenagers, accused of involvement in attacks on major websites, are facing a transatlantic investigation involving Scotland Yard and United States authorities, a London court was told yesterday.

Jake Davis (18) from the Shetland Isles and Ryan Cleary (19) from Wickford in Essex, will appear before Southwark Crown Court in January. But a full trial may not held for months afterwards.

The two have been ordered to stay off the internet, while Mr Davis is under instructions to live with his mother in Lincolnshire. The British police, who have sent officers to the US as part of their inquiries, continue investigating.

Both are charged with offences under the Computer Misuse Act for allegedly conspiring with others in the LulzSec and Anonymous groups of internet hackers to launch “denial of service” attacks that crashed websites run by big firms and organisations.

The victims included the Serious Organised Crime Agency in the UK. Mr Davis is accused of unlawfully gathering data from NHS computers and of being involved in attacks on websites run by News International.

Neither was present for the hearing. But Judge Nicholas Lorraine-Smith said that they would need to appear to enter pleas against the charges when their cases come back before the court on January 27th.

Mr Cleary has been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome since his arrest in June.

Mr Davis, it is understood, was tracked down through log-on details he used while playing playing computer games on Xbox.Police found a laptop running 40 different software programmes simultaneously when they raided his home. He could, if convicted, face up to 10 years in prison.

Both may also become the subject of US extradition requests.

In an interview with a computer magazine, Anonymous said that it would continue its denial of service attacks until it “stops being angry” because of its objections to efforts by corporations to prevent computer piracy.

LulzSec, otherwise known as Lulz Security, has claimed responsibility for a number of hacking attempts on websites in the United States, including the Central Intelligence Agency, the US Senate, Sony and others.