FBI arrests LulzSec hacker suspect Cody Kretsinger over massive Sony data breach


FBI arrests LulzSec hacker suspect Cody Kretsinger over massive Sony data breach

Warwick Ashford

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has arrested an alleged member of the LulzSec hacktivist group in connection with a breach of computer systems at Sony Pictures.

Cody Kretsinger, 23, was arrested in Arizona and charged with the unauthorised impairment of a protected computer in connection with a SQL injection attack.

He faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison if convicted. The US government is trying to extradite him to Los Angeles, where Sony Pictures' computer system is located and where the case against him has been filed, according to the Guardian.

Cody Kretsinger allegedly provided data published by LulzSec in June that included e-mail addresses and passwords of people who entered contests promoted by Sony.

The data was published within weeks of a massive data breach at Sony's PlayStation Network (PSN) that forced the company to suspend the service for more than two months.

The breach exposed the personal details of 77 million PSN users. One week later the company suspended the Sony Online Entertainment service and warned about 25 million users their details were at risk.

The extent of damage caused by the breach of the computer network at Sony Pictures remains under investigation, the FBI said in a statement.

In collaboration with the FBI, UK police have arrested four suspected LulzSec members, three of whom are scheduled to go on trial early next year.

Earlier this month, Sony named Philip Reitinger as its first chief information security officer to shore up the company's IT defences.

The move is seen as part of Sony's efforts to restore investor confidence. The company's share price has fallen 55% since the PSN data breach was made public.

The incident also raised questions about Sony's security capability, a weakness Sony intends to address by filling several key roles with cyber security experts. Philip Reitinger previously held cyber security positions at Microsoft and the US Departments of Homeland Security, Defense and Justice.

Sony says Reitinger will oversee information security, privacy and internet safety across the company, coordinating closely with key headquarters groups and working in partnership with the information security community to bring the best ideas and approaches to Sony.

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