Three British members of the hacktivist group LulzSec have pleaded guilty to carrying out cyber-attacks on the NHS, Sony and News International.
Ryan Ackroyd, a 26-year-old from Mexborough in South Yorkshire, admitted plotting to hack into a string of websites, including those of 20th Century Fox and Arizona state police in the United States, as part of an eight-month campaign in 2011.
He pleaded guilty to one computer hacking-related charge alongside fellow LulzSec members Jake Davis, 20, and 18-year-old Mustafa al-Bassam at Southwark crown court in London on Tuesday.
Davis, from Shetland, and Bassam, a student from Peckham, south London, admitted conspiring to bring down the websites of law enforcement authorities in Britain and the US, including the CIA and the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) between 1 February and 2 September 2011. They also pleaded guilty to attempting to break into computers run by the NHS, media giants Sony, 20th Century Fox and News International.
The trio will be sentenced on 14 May along with a fourth hacker, Ryan Cleary, a 21-year-old from Wickford in Essex, who earlier pleaded guilty to six connected charges.
Southwark crown court heard on Tuesday that Ackroyd adopted the persona of a 16-year-old girl, named "Kayla", in the hacking group LulzSec.