FBI makes LulzSec arrests in Sony breach investigation

Attackers used SQL injection against Sony’s website to gain access to its internal server and steal sensitive data.

The FBI has arrested additional members of the LulzSec hacking group for their role in the attack against the computer systems at Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Cody Kretsinger, 23, of Phoenix, Arizona, was arrested Thursday and charged with conspiracy and the unauthorized impairment of a protected computer. If convicted, Kretsinger could face a sentence of 15 years in prison for his role in the Sony breach.

The FBI said Kretsinger was known as “recursion” and used an anonymous proxy server to mask his IP address. The FBI alleges he and other members of LulzSec are believed to have used a SQL injection attack against Sony’s website to gain access to sensitive data.  The data allegedly stolen by Kretsinger and others was then distributed on the LulzSec group’s website and announced on Twitter.  Kretsinger apparently also permanently erased the hard drive of the computer he used to conduct the attack on Sony Pictures, the FBI said.

In addition, Christopher Doyon, 47, of Mountain View, Calif., and Joshua Covelli, 26, of Fairborn, Ohio, were charged with their role in the Sony breach, according to a Fox News report.

Members of the LulzSec group gained access to Sony’s systems for four days, from May 30 through June 2, according to the indictments filed in U.S. District Court in the Central District of California. The breach took place just weeks after an attack prompted Sony to take its PlayStation Network offline while they investigated the extent of the security breach that took place April 16 and 17. That breach exposed the personal information of millions of PlayStation and Sony Entertainment account holders.

This case is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles.

The arrests are part of an ongoing investigation by law enforcement officials. The FBI said LulzSec has been linked to the hacking or attempted attacks of numerous targets, including government and corporate websites.  Police in London arrested a 19-year-old member of LulzSec in June.  Sixteen members of the Anonymous group were arrested in July for their role in a spate of attacks. Police believe two people from those arrests had ties to the LulzSec group.

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