Computer hacker awaits sentence for cyber attacks

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A DONCASTER man has pleaded guilty to hacking websites of major institutions including the NHS, Sony and News International.

Ryan Ackroyd, aged 26, of Oak Road, Mexborough, was due to stand trial charged with taking part in a string of cyber attacks, but has pleaded guilty to one charge of carrying out an unauthorised act to impair the operation of a computer, contrary to the Criminal Law Act 1977.

Southwark Crown Court heard he admitted being a member of hacking group LulzSec, acting as a “hacker” to access websites for Sony, 20th Century Fox, the NHS, Nintendo, the Arizona State Police, and News International, between February and September 2011.

Prosecutor Sandip Patel told the court: “He was the hacker, so to speak, they turned to him for his expertise as a hacker,” adding that Ackroyd admitted using the persona of a 16-year-old girl Kayla.

He will be sentenced on May 14 and prosecutors are not planning to pursue other charges against Ackroyd.

LulzSec is a spin-off of the hacking collective Anonymous. Lulz is internet slang for ‘laughs’ and Sec refers to ‘security’.