PSN hackers plead guilty in UK court

Four British men, allegedly part of LulzSec, plead guilty to the hacking of more than 70 million PSN and Sony Online accounts in 2011.

Four members of Lulz Security (LulzSec) have pleaded guilty to hacking more than 70 million PSN and Sony Online accounts in 2011, according to GameSpot's sister site CNET UK. Sony’s PlayStation Network was out of operation and inaccessible for three weeks in April 2011.

LulzSec's official logo.

Aged 18 to 26, the four British men faced charges at Southwark Crown Court in London. The group’s main spokesperson, 20-year-old Jake Davis, also ran the LulzSec Twitter account.

Mustafa Al-Bassam (18), Ryan Ackroyd (26), and Ryan Cleary (21) also pleaded guilty. The group was arrested on charges relating to attacks on sites including the CIA and UK crime agencies, and claimed responsibility for being behind the hacking of more than 70 million PSN and Sony Online accounts in 2011.

The PlayStation Network outage occurred in April 2011 and saw Sony bring down its online gaming and retail services for approximately three weeks, costing the company an estimated $171.1 million. The outage occurred shortly after an attack by "hacktivist" group Anonymous, which insisted that its organisation had nothing to do with the extended downtime.

The four LulzSec members will be sentenced next month. The group previously targeted several gaming-related sites, including Minecraft, League of Legends, and Eve Online.

Written By

Zorine “harli” Te is a long time competitive gamer and also an Associate Editor at GameSpot.

Discussion

212 comments
roman4545
roman4545

4 down... many more to go...

tightwad34
tightwad34

I hope they aren't taking the fall for someone else. Hell, it doesn't matter how many of the bad ones they get, there will always be more. Still, whoever did this should get some sort of punishment.

Gallowhand
Gallowhand

I think these young men were very foolish.  If they had wanted to highlight a security vulnerability in a company's network, they could have used other avenues, such as the 'Black Hat Briefings', to bring attention to the issue.  Some companies even take a more proactive view and ask people to try and hack their security so that they can make it stronger.  So this is something of a grey area.

On the other hand, Sony was at fault for not investing in appropriate and robust security measures to keep private user information out of the hands of hackers.  At a time when more and more of us are going online and creating accounts with different companies, it is right that those companies should be held to account if they fail to provide adequate security to protect our information.  Identity theft and credit card theft are very real issues, and more companies should take the issue of hacking more seriously.

In this case, I do think a (reasonable) prison sentence is appropriate.

Saketume
Saketume

So much ignorance in this comment section.

Superzone
Superzone

I'm sure they're lulzing pretty hard now...

pip3dream
pip3dream

The CIA will probably drop these kids some job offers to hack china.

Icepick_Trotter
Icepick_Trotter

"Yes! We plead guilty of scapegoating for what was probably a 100 or 1000 man operation!"

"Thanks. That's all we need to make our customers feel safe."


-Justice and Marketing. Brought to you by Sony.

jayjay444
jayjay444

I bet their not laughing now. 

metroidhunterx
metroidhunterx

I don't understand the people who stick up for guys like these.  It's a constant power struggle.  It's always "the little guy fighting against the corrupt corporations" until the little guy finally becomes the big guy.  Then there's a role reversal, and the cycle starts all over again.  Trusting these people is like trusting that crazy guy we all know, but don't really like to hang around, because he's creepy and not exactly all there, if you catch my drift.  But sometimes that creepy guy's your only alternative.  Do you really want to make that gamble?

AuronAXE
AuronAXE

These guys were funny. Sad to see 'em go, many lulz were had.

vel0001
vel0001

Ah i see, perhaps i should have used another example such as stealing a single piece of fruit...

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

Don't drop the soap! Next time find a way to just affect the companies themselves and NOT the consumers!

brxricano
brxricano

Dat thumbnail!!!! "Quite Guilteh, Yoor Honor, hmm, quite indeed. *swirls wine* *sip*"

ROFLLLL

Dangerous231
Dangerous231

anyone who hacks and cost a company like sony over 200 mill neeeds to go to jail 

Dangerous231
Dangerous231

then they get the real hard connection lol

Dangerous231
Dangerous231

lol the bad ass hackers get to go to the joint and hack inmates zippers with their teeth lol

2bitSmOkEy
2bitSmOkEy

I bet they end up landing jobs for government security.

HelIWithoutSin
HelIWithoutSin

They're gonna be surprised when they find out what a backdoor trojan really is.

Redsyrup
Redsyrup

No worries hackers it'd be a mistake for MI:6 not to hire these lads. A high profile intrusion like this is a one way ticked to employment and a fat pay day.

CaptainGamespot
CaptainGamespot

scumbacks, stealing info to sell, hiding under guise of fighting for people. scumbags.

Jake518
Jake518

Stealing people's private information is never okay. I'm sure that if these hackers had their information stolen and suffered because of it, they will bitch and moan about it.

kornskater
kornskater

lulzsec, if there was a public pull, i'd vote for your freedom and vote to remove all charges, as life isnt as serious as people make it out to be. didnt anyone ever tell you? you die in the end anyway. sorry to ruin the final act. respect.

fredyellowone
fredyellowone

Four ass*****.  Like all other crackers in the world.

HIT3kNology
HIT3kNology

Haha and these retards thought hacking video game networks was funny, wait until they get their buttholes hacked by big black men in prison!

amin_pir
amin_pir

brave people
respect to you 
i am hacker too but your work was really special
like!!!!!

HWGuy14
HWGuy14

Thank god they are all over 18. Punks will get 120 years in prison without the possibility of parole. They will get a little present from bubba in the shower though...

aphonix89
aphonix89

They risked a lot and wasted their lives. And with their hacking knowledge they could have made it big time. Shame really, for all parties involved.

OuTLaWzGamer
OuTLaWzGamer

a miserable life is what I wish to most hackers.(if not all)

L0mak
L0mak

Most kids make stupid mistakes , but the really smart ones make the stupidest mistakes (thanks to the brashness of youth and lack of wisdom).

So congrats smartass's you just ruined a large chunk of your lives "for the lulz" as your group would so eloquently put it.

Poetic justice has been served. GG. 

edpeterson
edpeterson

Lol, losers, guess they wanted the show the world they don't have a life and still live in their parents basements?

jayelcey
jayelcey

I hope they throw the book at them.  There is no place in this world for useless, destructive hackers that cost companies billions of dollars each year in damages and fighting costs.  Those costs are passed down to us, the consumers, as is the inconvenience of dealing with these losers on our own PCs and consoles.

x_hunter00
x_hunter00

Worst 3 weeks of my life! I had to actually step outside my parents basement. :(

BodyBag22
BodyBag22

@metroidhunterx It's as logical as trusting the PSN with your information, after all I bet they claim it's perfectly safe and unhackable, at least these guys showed the truth of the matter and proved a point.
I'm certainly not justifying what they did or condoning their actions but it is what it is.

ogremalfeitor
ogremalfeitor

@RedsyrupIt's not the 80's anymore, you know? Hacking is nothing new to a lot.

There are plenty of talented people out there nowadays that have the knowledge and capabilities to do what these dudes did, but choose not to. Believe me, it's tons more difficult to effectively protect a system than to find holes in one, and you don't have to be an *ss h*l* to put your knowledge to good use.

 That's the principle of Ethical Hacking: you find the holes, but instead of taking advantage on them (be it political or economical), you instead warn who has the problem, give them time to fix it and then spread the knowledge to the public.

Nothing wrong about selling your services in form of consultancy also, as long as you do it ethically. After all, more and more, employers nowadays realise that to fight a fire you shouldn't hire the arsonist, but the fireman. Think about it ;)

But I'll agree with you if you tell me that big sharks like $ony tend to have the arrogance to think they're untouchable, and failed for that. I'm pretty sure that with the money they have, hiring a few penetration testing companies and following their advices to the letter would have prevented what happened, but they certainly learned that lesson the hard way...

xXNutcrackerXx
xXNutcrackerXx

@kornskater  

Yes, let's "pull" the public. ;P

And yeah, we may all die in the end, but that doesn't just give everybody free reign to do as they please taking advantage of others for personal gain.

xXNutcrackerXx
xXNutcrackerXx

@OuTLaWzGamer  

Unethical hackers yes. There is actually a very legitimate life to be had using those skills. In fact, the most common use is to use the knowledge to stop people like these guys from ever succeeding.

Jake518
Jake518

@L0mak Perhaps someone will make sweet sweet love to them "for the lulz".

metroidhunterx
metroidhunterx

@BodyBag22 @metroidhunterx How gracious of them to prove a point by stealing my information without my consent.  They didn't do it to prove a point.  They didn't even do it just for laughs.  They did it for money, and fame.  That's all.

OldKye
OldKye

@metroidhunterx @OldKye @BodyBag22 Nothing in your reply had anything to do or any relatability to what i said lol your comparing apples to homeless ninjas your really that far off.

Which means nothing anyone says will change your mind no matter the experts i quote that said damage was minimal if not intentionally mitigated, or how many info sights about what Real credit card thief's do nothing will convince you.

Too you crime is crime and they should all get the chair even if it's your mother going 5 miles over on the highway so good day sir^^ sorry you view the world so negatively.

metroidhunterx
metroidhunterx

@OldKye @metroidhunterx @BodyBag22 That is wild speculation at best.  The difference between Sony and a group of hackers is that they are a commercial organization.  If you think for one second that they are completely at fault, you are blinded by your own entitled views.  Sony should have reinforced their security, but it was an oversight at most.  Are they a great deal responsible?  Yes, but are they the ones that hacked into your information illegally?  The answer is no.  Do you have evidence that Sony would have let your card float around?  Do you have some insane inside information, some VP having a conversation that contained the words "Yeah, if we ever lost these guys' credit card info, I'd totally cover it up"?

Here are a few more examples of crimes you'd apparently be only mildly irritated by:
*Automobile theft
*Breaking and entering
*Black hat attack on your personal computer

I suppose you'd want to place the blame solely on the shoulders of Ford/Chevy, Schlage/Kwikset, and Microsoft/Apple, and that while you "wouldn't be happy", you would at least tolerate any of the people who actually commited the crimes.

OldKye
OldKye

@metroidhunterx @OldKye @BodyBag22 My credit card was one of the stolen... I was able to get a new one and stop any loses cause rather then quietly  drain my account the may a huge announcement "we took it" then waited like a week before they post them(for everyone btw heck i could look and see if mine was there).

Over all? damage was minimal if not none existent I can get a new card in one phone call. Am i happy? no, Should they go to jail? yes, who's at fault? Sony. 

Sony would have quietly left my information where anyone could take it so someone did but that someone called me and let me know more or less and is in jail for it how can you not go "well they are dumb criminals but have some values left".

 They should have gone about it differently but if they hadn't taken anything sony would have gone "look at our security we protected your information" and left my credit card on a street corner.

metroidhunterx
metroidhunterx

@OldKye @metroidhunterx @BodyBag22 Why do you think they never did or never would have used the information they stole to better their situation?  Because you had their guarantee?  Here, I'll guarantee you that I won't ruin your reputation or your credit score if you'll kindly hand over your social security and credit cards.  You've got nothing to lose, right?  I've given you my word, after all.

Again, you're defending a group who is willing to steal innocent peoples' information to make a company look bad simply because they (supposedly) do not agree with their methods.  Meanwhile, idiots who think that these guys are acting as some sort of Robin Hood remain willfully ignorant to the fact that in the process of "exposing" companies for what they perceive as misdeeds, these hackers have also invaded their privacy, and trampled on their freedoms.  I guess have fun being the world's most trusting, and simultaneously moronic person?

OldKye
OldKye

@metroidhunterx @BodyBag22 Yes since they posted the information instead of using it since it's traceable and they didn't want to be know, money and fame wait what?

Your problem is how you view the world some people want money so they build big company's.

Some people want fame so they post their face on everything.

And some select few people just don't care and do things just because they can these are those kind of people.

It's not that anyone agrees with what they did or thinks that they shouldn't have to pay for it what people attach too is that "you against the world" devil may care attitude.