UK LulzSec hackers jailed for their attacks on Sony and Bethesda among others

"They are at the cutting edge of a contemporary and emerging species of criminal offender."

Four UK members of LulzSec have been handed jail sentences for their part in the group's campaign of cyber attacks.

LulzSec's targets included companies such as Nintendo, Sony, Bethesda and 20th Century Fox, as well as government-run organisations such as the CIA and SOCA, the UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency.

Ryan "Kayla" Cleary, Jake "Topiary" Davis, Mustafa "Tflow" al-Bassam and Ryan Ackroyd had all previously pleaded guilty to a number of hacking-related charges.

Cleary admitted additional charges of hacking the US Air Force and possessing indecent images of babies and children, BBC News reported. He was jailed for 32 months.

Ackroyd was sentenced for 30 months and Davis for two years. Al Bassam was given a 20-month suspended sentence.

"It's clear from the evidence that they intended to achieve extensive national and international notoriety and publicity," prosecutor Sandip Patel claimed.

"This is not about young immature men messing about. They are at the cutting edge of a contemporary and emerging species of criminal offender known as a cybercriminal."

Today's sentences mark the end of a two year police investigation into the group. Davis was arrested in July 2011 when he was just 18 years old. Cleary, then just 19, had been cuffed the month before.

Some of the group now face the possibility of extradition to the US, to face charges by law enforcement agencies there.

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