A suspected member of LulzSec hackers has been arrested for his role in an “extensive computer attack” against systems of Sony.
Cody Kretsinger, 23, of Phoenix, Arizona, known as “Recursion” was arrested yesterday by FBI agents without incident, according to a statement issued by the bureau.
Kretsinger is thought to be a member of Lulzsec, the breakaway Anonymous hacker group, who broke into Sony’s PlayStation Network (PSN) from earlier this year and follows the arrest of several other suspects in the UK and US.
The much publicised attack implicated over 100 million Sony user accounts including credit card details in some cases and cost the Japanese giant millions, forcing a total shutdown of the gaming operation for several weeks.
On September 2, 2011, a federal grand jury returned an indictment filed in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, charging Kretsinger with conspiracy and “the unauthorized impairment of a protected computer.”
“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,” the statement said.
Kretsinger, believed to be a current or former member of LulzSec, resided in Tempe, Arizona at the time the alleged criminal activity took place.
In order to carry out the attack, Kretsinger allegedly accessed a proxy server in an attempt to mask or hide his IP address and obtained confidential information from Sony computer systems using an “SQL injection” attack – a technique commonly used by hackers to exploit vulnerabilities and lift data.
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 Twitter.
The accused also “permanently erased the hard drive of the computer he used to conduct the attack on Sony Pictures.”
Kretsinger will make an initial appearance before a federal magistrate in U.S. District Court in Phoenix today and be removed to L.A, the district in which he was charged, to face prosecution.
If convicted, the youth faces a statutory maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.