Phoenix man suspected of hacking into computer systems

The FBI arrested a Phoenix man on Thursday suspected of hacking into the computer systems at Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Cody Kretsinger, 23, of Phoenix, is accused of being a member of the LulzSec hacking group that claimed credit for hacking into the Sony computer systems from May 27 to June 2. Kretsinger is known by the moniker “recursion.” A grand jury indicted him on Sept. 2 on charges of conspiracy and unauthorized impairment of a protected computer, but it was kept under seal until his arrest.

The FBI alleges that Kretsinger carried out the attack by sending a proxy server to mask his IP address. He and other hackers obtained confidential information from Sony computers using an “SQL injection” attack against its website, which is used by hackers to seize on a computer system’s vulnerabilities. At the time, LulzSec, affiliated with the international hackers known as Anonymous, bragged about how easy it was to break into the Sony system.

The FBI also claims that Kretsinger and others posted the stolen info on the LulzSec website, and then announced it on Twitter.

Kretsinger was to make his first court appearance in Phoenix on Thursday, but the FBI plans to request that he be moved to Los Angeles. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison.

Filed Under:

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more