Sony hacker sentenced to a year in prison

Sony hacker sentenced to a year in prison

Summary: A member of the LulzSec group has been given a year behind bars after pleading guilty to breaching Sony's servers.

TOPICS: Security
Credit: C.Osborne/ZDNet

LulzSec member Cody Kretsinger will spend one year in prison for his role in breaching the defenses of Sony Pictures Entertainment servers.

The hacker pleaded guilty in April 2012 to one count of conspiracy and one count of unauthorized impairment of a protected computer, according to Reuters.

Kretsinger -- also known as "Recursion," -- is part of LulzSec, an offshoot group from hacktivist collective Anonymous. LulzSec first came to attention in 2011, after a number of pranks including hacking The Sun's website to proclaim that Rupert Murdoch was dead entered the spotlight, as well as the group's role in coming to the defense of whistleblower website WikiLeaks. However, these pranks later turned into Sony's worst nightmare -- as the group stole the credentials and information of over 70 million user accounts of both PlayStation Network and Sony Online members.

This security breach led to Sony closing down the network for a month. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) in the U.K. later fined the firm £250,000 for what it considered a "serious breach of the Data Protection Act" for not keeping customer data adequately protected. Prosecutors say that the network breach cost Sony over $600,000 in damages.

The 25 year-old has been ordered by a U.S. district judge in Los Angeles to serve 12 months before performing 1,000 hours of community service upon release. Although prosecutors refused to say whether the hacker was co-operating with authorities in return for a softer sentence, a leading member of Anonymous, "Sabu," in reality Hector Xavier Monsegur, has pleaded guilty to similar charges and offered the FBI information on other hackers.

Last week, three other members of LulzSec -- Ryan Ackroyd, Jake Davis, and Mustafa al-Bassam -- all pleaded guilty to a computer hacking-related charge at Southwark Crown Court in London. Between them, the hackers admitted to trying to hack into various websites related to Nintendo and Sony, as well as plotting to take down law enforcement agency websites based in the U.S. and United Kingdom.

Topic: Security

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  • Good

    Now lets get some of the botnet operators.
  • They need

    to add a lifetime ban from using computing devices. Smartphones, tablets everything. Make it so damaging that people stop this a-hole behavior.

    • Can we enforce that?

      And does it make sense to enjoin a law abiding 50 year old from using computers for an offense committed 30 years before? It's not like we enjoin convicted robbers who have done their time from entering banks or convenience stores.
      John L. Ries
    • That certainly won't backfire

      I'm sure that making him into an unemployable pariah for the rest of his life certainly won't cause him to turn to extralegal means of sustaining his existence because whatever legal means he might have had were summarily taken from him because of something he was already punished for.
      Third of Five
  • Just curious ...

    Was anyone at Sony ever sentenced for installing a rootkit on their customers PCs? Here's a reminder for those that may not remember:
    "Summary: Reports are beginning to turn up around the Web that discuss how certain CDs from Sony Music come with a Trojan horse-based digital restrictions management (DRM) technology that surreptitiously installs itself as a rootkit on Windows PCs.
    Rabid Howler Monkey
    • I think it makes sense... prosecute (not just sue) corporations that pull those sorts of stunts and then to make the responsible officers do the time that an individual would have done if he had been convicted of the same offense.

      Or maybe we just prosecute the officers directly.
      John L. Ries