Alleged LulzSec Sony hacker arrested

23-year-old is accused of using SQL injection to break into Sony Pictures database

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has arrested a Phoenix student, claiming that he is one of the LulzSec hackers responsible for a database attack on Sony Pictures computers that claimed more than 1 million victims.

Cody Kretsinger, 23, was arrested Thursday morning on hacking and conspiracy charges. Prosecutors say he was "Recursion," an LulzSec hacker who used a database attack technique called SQL injection to break into Sony Pictures systems. Kretsinger allegedly provided data that was used in a mammoth June 2, 2011, data dump by LulzSec that included coupon codes along with email addresses and passwords belonging to Sony customers.

At the time that LulzSec posted its data, Sony was already recovering from a devastating break-in to its PlayStation Network. That intrusion knocked the service offline for more than two months and cost the company an estimated ¥ 14 billion (US$183 million) to clean up.

"The extent of damage caused by the compromise at Sony Pictures is under investigation," the FBI said Thursday in a statement.

Sony's heavy-handed response to the release of "jailbreak" code for its PS3 console, which could be used to run unauthorized software on the device, had made the company the enemy of hackers everywhere, and the LulzSec hackers were not the only ones to go after the company's computer systems.

LulzSec had a brief run of Internet mayhem earlier this year, breaking into websites belonging to corporations and law enforcement agencies and then posting the data publicly with gleeful disregard to any consequences.

Since then, the group seems to have been largely rounded up by law enforcement in a series of arrests in the U.S. and U.K.

Kretsinger allegedly covered his tracks by using the Hidemyass.com proxy service and wiping his computer hard drive after the attack. He faces 15 years in prison if convicted.

Separately, the FBI also announced the arrest of two alleged members of the Peoples Liberation Front, a group that claimed credit for a 30-minute long 2010 distributed denial of service attack against Santa Cruz County, California. Like LulzSec, Peoples Liberation has affiliated itself with the Anonymous hacking movement.

Christopher Doyon and Joshua Covelli are both facing hacking charges in the case. Covelli had previously been charged in connection with an Anonymous-sponsored December 2010 attack on Paypal.com.

Robert McMillan covers computer security and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Robert on Twitter at @bobmcmillan. Robert's e-mail address is robert_mcmillan@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags cybercrimeinternetlegalsonyU.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation

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

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

Shop safely with our award-winning security solution. Protect yourself this Black Friday and get the exclusive Black Friday discount for Bitdefender 2019!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?