Two teenagers have appeared in court accused of hacking major technology companies for a cyber-crime gang in alleged operations worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The 16-year-old and 17-year-old boys are in some cases said to have carried out “sim swaps” with mobile phone users, gaining access to bank accounts and Bitcoin.

The 16-year-old, from London, has also been charged with one count of causing a computer to perform a function to secure unauthorised access to a programme.

Alongside the 17-year-old, from Oxfordshire, he was released on conditional bail ahead of a further hearing at Southwark Crown Court on April 29.

Among the firms allegedly targeted by the pair, who are alleged to be affiliated with the Lapsus$ group, were telecoms giant BT and global software company Nvidia.

The boys sat next to family members in separate hearings at Highbury Corner Youth Court on Friday and spoke only to confirm their details.

Prosecutor Valerie Benjamin said the case should be sent to crown court due to its complex nature and the sums allegedly involved.

Both teenagers are charged with three counts of unauthorised access with intent to impair operation of or hinder access to a computer, and two counts of fraud by false representation.

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