Four British men aged 18 to 26 have all pleaded guilty, at Southwark Crown Court in London, to charges relating to attacks on sites including the CIA and UK crime agencies. They also admitted being behind the hacking of more than 70 million Sony accounts in 2011.
Jake Davis, 20, from Shetland -- aka Topiary -- ran the group's Twitter account (pictured) and was their main spokesman. Mustafa Al-Bassam, 18, from Peckham, who was a minor when he was arrested two years ago, was known as T-Flow. Ryan Ackroyd, 26, from Mexborough in South Yorkshire, used the persona of 16-year-old girl Kayla, according to the Yorkshire Post.
Ryan Cleary, 21, of Wickford in Essex, also pleaded guilty to separate charges including hacking into US Air Force computers at the Pentagon, the BBC reports.
The four will be sentenced next month.
LulzSec rocketed to notoriety in the summer of 2011, as a splinter group of Anonymous, with a series of audacious pranks. They hacked the front page of The Sun's website to publish a story claiming Rupert Murdoch was dead, and another on the US PBS network's site saying rapper Tupac Shakur was alive. It posted data pilfered from Nintendo, and details of US hack attempts against Libyan infrastructure.
By far its most damaging attack was against Sony, with more than 70 million users' account details stolen, including both PlayStation Network and Sony Online members. The incident led Sony to shut down the PS3's online features for a whole month, much to the chagrin of gamers around the world.
The group used various techniques, the crudest and most effective being the distributed denial of service (DDoS) -- flooding a site with traffic from a network of controlled computers called a botnet.