Charged in global plot to attack computers: 25-year-old Mexborough man is facing prosecution on both sides of Atlantic

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A MEXBOROUGH man has been accused of being part of a global computer hacking group and is facing prosecution by the FBI and Scotland Yard.

Ryan Ackroyd, from Oak Road, was charged on both sides of the Atlantic this week with being involved in an elite hacking organisation known as Lulz Security or LulzSec.

The 25-year-old could face extradition to the US and up to 10 years in prison.

he 25-year-old could face extradition to the US and up to 10 years in prison.

Ackroyd was one of a group of people charged in a federal court in New York.

He also faces separate charges by the Metropolitan Police, following their own investigation into alleged criminal activity of the so-called “hacktivist” group.

Ackroyd is accused of helping to identify weaknesses in targets’ computer systems and breaking down their security to gain confidential information.

He also faces extradition to the US and under American law could face a maximum of 10 years in prison.

No-one was in at the Ackroyd family home when the Times called yesterday morning. But residents described him as a “lovely lad” and claimed he is a former Mexborough School pupil.

The collection of LulzSec hackers have previously claimed responsibility for a variety of cyber attacks on big companies such as Sony and on government agencies including the CIA and FBI.

Swoops on the outfit involved law enforcement agencies in the US and UK.

Ackroyd is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on March 16 charged with two counts of conspiracy relating to the use of computers contrary to Section 1 of the Criminal Law Act.

A 17-year-old youth from South London was also charged with the same offence.

Two other men – Ryan Cleary, 19, from Essex, and Jake Davis, 18, from Shetland – have previously been charged with a number of offences under the Criminal Law and Computer Misuse acts in relation to the same inquiry.

Davis is one of the men also charged in the US.

A sixth person, New Yorker Hector Xavier Monsegur, had previously pleaded guilty for his part in the hacking ring and turned informant.

US court papers claim Monsegur was the ringleader and one of the world’s most wanted computer vandals, known in the hacking underworld as “Sabu.”

Authorities said the hacking group led a campaign of deeds against business and government organisations in America and around the world, resulting in the theft of confidential information, the defacing of websites and attacks that temporarily put victims out of business.

Their activities allegedly included attacks on cyber-security firms and the posting of a fake story that murdered rapper Tupac Shakur was alive in New Zealand.

Monsegur was charged with conspiracy to engage in computer hacking, among other offences. He had pleaded guilty on August 15.

US court papers said he was a member of three hacking groups “responsible for multiple cyber attacks on the computer systems of various businesses and governments in the United States and throughout the world.”