Sony hacker sentenced to a year in prison

A member of the LulzSec group has been given a year behind bars after pleading guilty to breaching Sony's servers.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer
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.

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