A US federal grand jury in Los Angeles has indicted an English citizen on multiple counts of computer-related crimes.
20-year-old Ryan Cleary stands accused of targeting various Hollywood heavyweights, including PBS, Sony Pictures and Fox.
The hacker also allegedly attempted to retrieve confidential data pertaining to contestants auditioning for The X-Factor.
According to an indictment obtained by the LA Times, Cleary hacked and defaced the PBS NewsHour website – creating a separate website where he and others published confidential information stolen from entertainment company systems.
If convicted of the charges in the United States, Cleary faces a statutory maximum sentence of 25 years in prison. He is now in custody in England for hacking activity while awaiting prosecution.
Cleary was detained back in June 2011 and subsequently charged with five hacking related offenses against three UK websites, including Britain’s Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca), the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry and the British Phonographic Industry.
At the time, Cleary’s arrest was linked to a series of cyber campaigns led by the enigmatic LulzSec, a group that successfully infiltrated websites administered by the CIA, US Senate and Sony.