Met police charge two alleged Lulzsec members

By Stuart Sumner
02 Sep 2011 View Comments
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The Police Central e-crime Unit (PCeU) has announced two further charges in its ongoing investigations into the cyber attacks conducted by hacking groups Lulzsec and Anonymous.

According to the PCeU, two men, Christopher Jan Weatherhead (20) of Holly Road, Northampton, and Ashley Rhodes (26) of Bolton Crescent, SE5, were charged yesterday with conspiracy to perform an unauthorised act in relation to a computer, contrary to Section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977.

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A spokesperson for the PCeU confirmed the alleged hackers were being charged in relation to recent Lulzec operations.

"Yesterday's charges relate to the same investigation Ryan Cleary has been charged in connection with," said the spokesperson.

Cleary was arrested in June this year following cyber attacks on high-profile government and commercial websites, including the Serious and Organised Crime Squad (SOCA) in the UK, and the CIA in the US.

These attacks were subsequently claimed by Lulzsec.

On the same day, 14 alleged members of the hacktivist collective Anonymous pleaded not guilty to computer misuse charges in the US.

The charges related to distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on payment website Paypal in December last year.

At the time, Anonymous claimed responsibility for the attack, stating it was in response to Paypal's decision to withhold funds from whistleblowing website Wikileaks.

Lulzsec is widely believed to be an off-shoot of Anonymous. In June it announced it was ceasing its operations, which many observers have attributed to fear of police investigations.

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