Cody Kretsinger, Member
of Hacking Group LulzSec Arrested for June 2011 Intrusion of Sony
Pictures Computer Systems
September 22, 2011
A member of the LulzSec hacking group was arrested this morning for his
role in an extensive computer attack against the computer systems of
Sony Pictures Entertainmen.
Cody Kretsinger, 23, of Phoenix, Arizona, was arrested this morning by
FBI agents without incident. On September 2, 2011, a federal grand jury
returned an indictment filed under seal in U.S. District Court in Los
Angeles charging Kretsinger with conspiracy and the unauthorized
impairment of a protected computer. The federal indictment was unsealed
this morning upon Kretsinger’s arrest.
From approximately May 27, 2011, through June 2, 2011, the computer
systems of Sony Pictures Entertainment were compromised by a group known
as “LulzSec,” or “Lulz Security,” whose members anonymously claimed
responsibility on LulzSec’s website. Kretsinger, also known by the
moniker “recursion,” is believed to be a current or former member of
LulzSec. The extent of damage caused by the compromise at Sony Pictures
is under investigation.
According to the indictment, Kretsinger resided in Tempe, Arizona at the
time the alleged criminal activity took place. In order to carry out the
attack, Kretsinger allegedly sed a proxy server in an attempt to mask or
hide his Internet Protocol (IP) address. The indictment alleges that
Kretsinger and other coconspirators obtained confidential information
from Sony Pictures’ computer systems using an “SQL injection” attack
against its website, a technique commonly used by hackers to exploit
vulnerabilities and steal information.
The indictment alleges that Kretsinger and his co-conspirators
distributed the stolen information, including by posting the information
on LulzSec’s website, and then announced the attack via its Twitter
account. The indictment further alleges that, in order to avoid
detection by law enforcement, Kretsinger permanently erased the hard
drive of the computer he used to conduct the attack on Sony Pictures.
LulzSec is known for its affiliation with the international group of
hackers known as “Anonymous.” Anonymous, according to the indictment, is
a collective of computer hackers and other individuals located
throughout the world that conduct cyber attacks, including the
dissemination of confidential information stolen from victims’
computers, against individuals and entities they perceive to be hostile
to its interests.
the recent past, LulzSec has been linked to the hacking or attempted
hacking of numerous targets, including various websites that represent
governmental or business entities, among others.
Kretsinger will make an initial appearance before a federal magistrate
in U.S. District Court in Phoenix today. The government will request
that Kretsinger be removed to Los Angeles, the district in which he was
charged, to face prosecution. If convicted, Kretsinger faces a statutory
maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. This investigation was conducted
by the Electronic Crimes Task Force (ECTF) in Los Angeles. The ECTF is
comprised of agents and officers from the FBI, United States Secret
Service, Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s
Department, United States Attorney’s Office, Los Angeles County District
Attorney’s Office, and the California Highway Patrol.
This case is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office in