The FBI said it has arrested a member of the notorious LulzSec hacking group in connection with his role in attacking the computer systems of Sony Pictures Entertainment earlier this year.
Cody Kretsinger, 23, of Phoenix, Arizona, was arrested Thursday morning without incident. According to the FBI, a federal grand jury returned an indictment filed under seal in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles September 2 charging him with conspiracy and the unauthorized impairment of a protected computer.
The FBI alleges that from roughly May 27 through June 2, members of LulzSec targeted SONY with a SQL injection attack. Operating under the hacker alias “recursion”, Kretsinger is accused of taking part of the attack and using a proxy server to mask his Internet Protocol (IP) address. In addition, Kretsinger is also accused of erasing the hard drive of the computer he used to conduct the attack to destroy evidence.
An offshoot of Anonymous, LulzSec took responsibility for a number of attacks this summer, including a distributed denial-of service-attack against CIA.gov, before claiming to have disbanded.
If convicted, Kretsinger faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. In addition to his arrest, there are also reports that an unidentified member of Anonymous was arrested by the FBI in San Francisco in connection with cyber-attacks on Santa Cruz County government Websites.
“Both LulzSec and the larger Anonymous hacktivist collective have had a tough time of late, with a series of arrests in the USA, UK and elsewhere around the globe,” blogged Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.