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FBI arrests another Sony hacking suspect

Warwick Ashford

The FBI has arrested another suspected member of the now-defunct hacking group LulzSec in connection with a breach of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s computer systems.

The 20-year-old Raynaldo Rivera surrendered to US authorities after a federal grand jury in Los Angeles charged him with conspiracy and unauthorised impairment of a protected computer.

If convicted, Rivera faces up to 15 years in prison.

Co-conspirator Cody Kretsinger, 24, who was arrested in September 2011 and pleaded guilty to the same charges as Rivera in April, is scheduled to be sentenced on 25 October.

Rivera and his co-conspirators are accused of stealing information from Sony Corp's Sony Pictures' computer systems in May and June 2011 through a SQL injection attack on the company’s website.

Authorities suspect Rivera of helping to post the stolen confidential information on the website of LulzSec, an offshoot of the hacking collective Anonymous.

The data included the names, birth dates, addresses, emails, phone numbers and passwords of thousands of people who entered Sony competitions.

The attack, clean up and compensation is expected to ultimately cost Sony more than $600,000, according to Reuters.

In March, five other suspected leaders of Anonymous, all them alleged to be LulzSec members as well, were charged by federal authorities with computer hacking and other offenses.

In June, a federal grand jury indicted UK hacker, Ryan Cleary, on charges related to LulzSec attacks on several media companies, including Sony Pictures.

But US prosecutors have said they will not seek to extradite Cleary, leaving him to be dealt with by the UK courts, according to the Telegraph.

Cleary, who has confessed to launching a string of cyber-attacks on major institutions in the UK with fellow hacker Jake Davis, will be tried on further charges in April next year.


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