Cases of hacking accused heard

Court hears cases of teenagers accused of hacking

A court heard the case of two teenagers accused of hacking into websites today.

Jake Davis, 18, and Ryan Cleary, 19, were not at the court for the short hearing, but it is understood to be the first time their cases have been grouped together.

Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith said they will both need to appear at the court for a plea and case management on January 27, next year.

Davis, from the Shetland Islands, was arrested by officers from the Metropolitan Police’s e-crime unit as part of an investigation into hacking groups LulzSec and Anonymous. He is said to use the online nickname “Topiary” and present himself as a spokesman for the two groups.

The teenager faces five charges, including conspiring to carry out a distributed denial of service (DDos) attack on the police agency. Such attacks see websites flooded with traffic to make them crash.

Davis is also charged with gaining unauthorised access to a computer system, encouraging or assisting offences, and with two counts of conspiracy to commit offences.

LulzSec has also been linked to hacking attempts on the NHS, Sony, and the Sun newspaper.

At a hearing earlier this month, the teenager was bailed to an address in Spalding, Lincolnshire, where his mother lives. The judge imposed a curfew from 10pm to 7am, ordering Davis to wear an electronic tag. He was also told he was not allowed to access the internet through a computer or mobile phone, either himself or by asking someone to do it for him.

Cleary, from Wickford in Essex, who has been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome since he was arrested at his family home on Monday June 20, is charged with conspiring with other people on or before that date to create a remotely-controlled network of zombie computers, known as a “botnet”, which crashes websites.

He is also alleged to have carried out attacks on or before June 20 against Soca, the British Phonographic Industry’s website, and the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry’s website, and with making, adapting or supplying a botnet for a DDos attack. He was given bail earlier on condition that he does not access the internet or have in his possession any device that could access the web.

The alleged hacker was told he is to live and sleep at his address, and not leave the house other than in the company of his mother Rita Cleary.

During today’s hearing, Judge Loraine-Smith said: “First of all, most importantly, bail has to be on the same stringent terms for both of these defendants.

“If they breach any of those conditions they can be arrested, then brought before the court and put into custody.”

He added that the prosecution case papers should be served to the court on December 16.

Ben Cooper, defending Cleary, asked the judge if his client’s bail conditions could be varied to allow the teenager’s 19-year-old girlfriend Maria to accompany him when he leaves the house. The judge said he would consider the application once she is checked by the police.

Hugh Davis was the prosecutor against both defendants, and Gideon Cammerman defended Davis.

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