LulzSec hacktivist Ryan Cleary has admitted to being involved in cyber attacks against a list of organisations, including the NHS, News International, Sony, Nintendo, Arizona State Police, and 20th Century Fox.
According to the Telegraph, he and another hacker, Jake Davis, 19, also admitted targeting the Westboro Baptist Church, Bethesda, Eve Online, HBGary, HBGary Federal, PBS, and Infragard. He confessed to other charges against him including infiltrating USAF computers at the Pentagon.
However, Cleary is denying that he posted confidential data to LulzSec.com, Pirate Bay, and Pastebin. He denies that he is involved in four other charges under the Computer Misuse Act 1990 which allegedly happened sometime between January 2009 and June 2011.
Although Cleary has escaped an extradition to the USA, he is fighting charges against him in the UK, including allegations under the Serious Crime Act 2007, section 45, and assisting offences contrary to section 46.
Time will tell if the charges against Ryan Cleary hold up, and indeed, if they will discourage other hacktivists identifying themselves as Anonymous affiliates from launching more attacks.
A Forbes journalist who has been covering Anonymous for more than a year, and who was in court today, said that the phenomena is far from over.
“I would say that in spite of recent high-profile arrests,” the source said, “Anonymous as a phenomenon is still evolving and is not going away any time soon. If anything, it seems that a lot of people in Anonymous see those who’ve been arrested as martyrs, making them all the more galvanised about their community”.
“The upside may be that with arrest and the harsh light of a court room now a very obvious risk to some of the tactics carried out by groups like LulzSec,” the source added, “more people may feel encouraged to embrace digital activism by legal means”.