Hacker Ryan Cleary Indicted in Los Angeles

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U.K. hacker Ryan Cleary was indicted yesterday by a U.S. federal grand jury in Los Angeles.

"The U.S. indictment alleges that Cleary hacked into Fox's Web site and allegedly stole confidential information for people trying to get auditions on 'The X-Factor,'" writes CNET News' Dara Kerr. "He also allegedly broke into PBS's Web site after a supposedly critical documentary on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The indictment additionally says that Cleary hacked into Sony Pictures to steal registered users' information."

"The indictment charges Cleary with one count of conspiracy and two counts of unauthorized impairment of protected computers," writes Ars Technica's Jon Brodkin.

"If convicted of the charges in the United States, Cleary faces a statutory maximum sentence of 25 years in prison," writes the LA Times' Andrew Blankstein. "He is now in custody in England for hacking activity while awaiting prosecution."

"Cleary ... was arrested in June 2011 at his home in Wickford, England, for allegedly taking part in the DDOS attacks against Britain's Serious Organised Crime Agency," writes Computerworld's Jeremy Kirk. "He is charged in the U.K. with five computer-related offenses and is accused of distributing botnet programs to attack SOCA as well as websites of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry and the British Phonographic Industry."

"The charges come just over two months after accused LulzSec hacker Cody Kretsinger pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles to taking part in an extensive computer breach of Sony Pictures Entertainment," writes IT PRO's Dan Whitcomb.