FBI agents arrested an Arizona man who has been indicted on charges of impairing a protected computer and conspiracy in connection with a hack on Sony Pictures Entertainment's network.
Another reputed member of the LulzSec hacking
crew has been charged with attacking the computer network of Sony Pictures
Entertainment last year.
Raynaldo Rivera of Tempe, Ariz., was arrested
Aug. 28 by FBI agents. On Aug. 22, Rivera was indicted by a federal grand jury
in Los Angeles on charges of conspiracy and unauthorized impairment of a protected
According to authorities, Sony's computer
systems were compromised from roughly May 27, 2011, to June 2, 2011, by a team
of hackers known as LulzSec, shorthand for Lulz Security. Last summer, the
group was linked to high-profile attacks against a number of sites and
organizations, including the Fox Broadcasting Company.
The indictment alleges that Rivera, along
with his co-conspirators, exploited a SQL injection vulnerability in the Sony Website
to obtain confidential information, authorities said. After successfully
launching the attack, LulzSec members posted the data on their Website and
announced the attack via the group's Twitter account.
"From a single injection we accessed
everything," the hackers boasted in a statement at the time. "Why do
you put such faith in a company that allows itself to become open to these
Rivera is believed by the government to have
used the hacker aliases 'neuron', 'royal' and 'wildicv' and leveraged a proxy
server in an attempt to hide his IP address.
"Others considering committing crimes on
the net might be wise to stop believing that using an anonymising [sic] proxy service will necessarily
keep them out of the clutches of the law," blogged Graham
, senior technology consultant with Sophos.
Authorities have said the attack on Sony cost
the company more than $600,000.
One of the conspirators Rivera is accused of
working with is Cody Kretsinger, who was arrested last year and pleaded guilty
to hacking charges in April. He is scheduled to be sentenced in October.
The investigation into LulzSec has yielded
several other arrests as well. In March, charges were filed against six reputed
members, including the group's lead hacker, Hector Xavier Monsegur, also known
In a surprising turn of events, Sabu was
revealed to be a cooperating informant for the FBI. Last week, the U.S.
Department of Justice requested a six-month adjournment of the case against
Sabu, who was scheduled to be sentenced last week and is facing a maximum
sentence of 124 years in prison after pleading guilty to multiple charges in
If convicted, Rivera faces a maximum sentence
of 15 years in prison.