Three men were sentenced to prison in London for their role in masterminding cyber attacks on Sony, the CIA, and the NHS. In all, there were four people found guilty of the crimes as part of the LulzSec (LulzSecurity) collective. The group was responsible for a massive attack that jeopardized the websites and user accounts of millions. The attacks are also have said to have cost $32 million dollars in damage.
Judge Deborah Taylor said she hoped the sentences would serve as a warning to other hackers that there are consequences to illegal behavior. Dear Judge Taylor, if hackers cared at all about the perceived legality of their actions they probably wouldn't be hackers in the first place. It's not about whether or not something is illegal or if they even get caught. This media frenzy really only further advances and publicizes the actions you seek to prevent.
Ryan Cleary, 21, sentenced to 32 months:
Photo via: thehackernews
Jake Davis, 20, sentenced to 2 years in juvenile offenders center:
Photo via: AllthingsD
Ryan Ackroyd, 26, sentenced to 30 months:
Photo via: RT.com
Mustafa Al-Bassam, 18, sentenced to 20 month suspended sentence:
Photo via: belfasttelegraph
To me, these prison sentences seem like nothing more than a wasteful spectacle aimed at giving the public a feeling like any government could possibly have control over everything that happens on the Internet. It's not that events like these aren't damaging or hurtful, because they obviously are. It's just unclear how these punishments will actually prevent future attacks. That doesn't mean they shouldn't undergo some form of punishment; it just means that no one should expect these sentences to change anything.
Here's a brief rundown of some of the group's more notable hacks:
Above images via: KnowYourMeme
FBI Phone Call:
Here are the original indictments: