Former LulzSec member pleads guilty to conspiracy in Sony Pictures hack

Raynaldo Rivera admitted his involvement in a cyberattack that resulted in the theft of user information from a Sony Pictures website

An Arizona man has admitted his involvement in a May 2011 computer attack against the website of Sony Pictures Entertainment that was carried out by the now-defunct LulzSec hacker group.

On Thursday, Raynaldo Rivera, 20, of Tempe, who used the online aliases of "neuron," "royal" and "wildicv" pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to one count of conspiracy to intentionally cause damage without authorization to a protected computer.

In his plea agreement, the hacker admitted to joining LulzSec in May 2011 with the intention of helping the group carry out cyberattacks against businesses and government entities from the U.S. and around the world.

He also admitted to launching an SQL injection attack against sonypictures.com that allowed him to extract confidential and personal user information from the website's database. The information was later published online by LulzSec members.

"As a result of defendant's conduct, Sony Pictures suffered losses of approximately $605,663.67 during the one year period beginning on approximately May 27, 2011, including to hire computer forensic firms, to staff call centers, and to provide credit monitoring services for individuals whose personal identifying information was compromised," the plea agreement said.

Rivera surrendered to the FBI in Phoenix on Aug. 28 after being indicted on one count of conspiracy and one count of unauthorized impairment of data, programs, systems and information on a computer system used in interstate and foreign commerce and communication.

Rivera faced a statutory maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, but in exchange for his guilty plea, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California agreed to drop the second charge and recommend a reduced sentence. Rivera's sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 14, 2013.

One of Rivera's co-conspirators in the Sony Pictures breach, a 23-year-old man from Phoenix named Cody Kretsinger who used the online moniker "Recursion", pleaded guilty in April to one count of conspiracy and one of unauthorized impairment of a protected computer.

Hector Xavier Monsegur, a 28-year-old hacker from New York who acted as the leader of LulzSec under the online alias of Sabu, was secretly arrested by the FBI in June 2011. He subsequently agreed to work as an FBI informant and it's believed that his collaboration with the authorities led to the arrest of other LulzSec members in the U.S. and other countries.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lucian Constantin

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?