Former LulzSec member pleads guilty to conspiracy in Sony Pictures hack

Raynaldo Rivera admitted his involvement in a cyberattack that resulted in the theft of user information from a Sony Pictures website

An Arizona man has admitted his involvement in a May 2011 computer attack against the website of Sony Pictures Entertainment that was carried out by the now-defunct LulzSec hacker group.

On Thursday, Raynaldo Rivera, 20, of Tempe, who used the online aliases of "neuron," "royal" and "wildicv" pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to one count of conspiracy to intentionally cause damage without authorization to a protected computer.

In his plea agreement, the hacker admitted to joining LulzSec in May 2011 with the intention of helping the group carry out cyberattacks against businesses and government entities from the U.S. and around the world.

He also admitted to launching an SQL injection attack against sonypictures.com that allowed him to extract confidential and personal user information from the website's database. The information was later published online by LulzSec members.

"As a result of defendant's conduct, Sony Pictures suffered losses of approximately $605,663.67 during the one year period beginning on approximately May 27, 2011, including to hire computer forensic firms, to staff call centers, and to provide credit monitoring services for individuals whose personal identifying information was compromised," the plea agreement said.

Rivera surrendered to the FBI in Phoenix on Aug. 28 after being indicted on one count of conspiracy and one count of unauthorized impairment of data, programs, systems and information on a computer system used in interstate and foreign commerce and communication.

Rivera faced a statutory maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, but in exchange for his guilty plea, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California agreed to drop the second charge and recommend a reduced sentence. Rivera's sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 14, 2013.

One of Rivera's co-conspirators in the Sony Pictures breach, a 23-year-old man from Phoenix named Cody Kretsinger who used the online moniker "Recursion", pleaded guilty in April to one count of conspiracy and one of unauthorized impairment of a protected computer.

Hector Xavier Monsegur, a 28-year-old hacker from New York who acted as the leader of LulzSec under the online alias of Sabu, was secretly arrested by the FBI in June 2011. He subsequently agreed to work as an FBI informant and it's believed that his collaboration with the authorities led to the arrest of other LulzSec members in the U.S. and other countries.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Lucian Constantin

Lucian Constantin

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?