A 23-year-old college student named Cody Kretsinger, allegedly going by the internet handle “recursion” and being the front man for the internet hacking group “LulzSec” was arrested without incident in Arizona last Thursday. He was charged with conspiracy and the unauthorized impairment of a protected computer, according to a report filed by Reuters – this, in regard to the break-ins of Sony Pictures Entertainment in May and June of 2011.
LulzSec, also known as Lulz Security, claims association with the larger hacker collective known as Anonymous. The term “lulz” is internet slang for laughter at the expense of someone else’s misery.
The attacks were accomplished by a common type of attack known as “SQL injection”, which issues normally forbidden commands directly to a website’s underlying database. Most websites are secure from such attacks, and Lulzsec crowed about Sony’s computers shortcomings in a statement at the time that read “From a single injection we accessed EVERYTHING. Why do you put such faith in a company that allows itself to become open to these simple attacks?”
Kretisnger was allegedly one of the persons who helped post the stolen data from Sony, and was purportedly the “voice” of LulzSec on Twitter. The stolen data contained the names and account information on 37,000 users of the Sony Pictures online services.
After appearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lawrence Anderson on Thursday in Phoenix, Kretsinger was ordered released on his own recognizance, but was prohibited from traveling to any states other than Arizona, California and Illinois and ordered to use his computer only for schoolwork. He is scheduled to appear in Los Angeles federal court Oct. 11 for a post-indictment arraignment.
The penalties for Kretzinger’s involvement with LulzSec could be as much as 15 years in a federal penitentiary. The FBI continues to follow the broad trail of information connecting the various members of LulzSec and their connection to Anonymous, and the theft and illegal distribution of other servers’ contents, and even some of their ties to individuals operating within Second Life. Additional charges may be forthcoming because the indictment notes Kretsinger was aided by other known and unknown co-conspirators. The investigation is ongoing, said FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller. Further arrests seem inevitable.
The LulzSec group claimed to be “hacktivists”, hackers with a political agenda; however, no hacking group that lays claim to this sort of social nobility seems to stay on that path for very long, instead degrading into simple opportunism, or flagrant criminal activity. Citizens with knowledge of potentially illegal LulzSec or Anonymous activities are encouraged to contact their local FBI office.
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