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Phoenix man indicted in Sony Pictures computer hacking case

September 22, 2011 |  1:21 pm

FBI agents have arrested a 23-year-old Phoenix man and charged him with hacking into the computers of Sony Pictures earlier this year, authorities said Thursday.

Cody Kretsinger was indicted in Los Angeles on Sept. 2 in connection with the case, authorities said. The indictment was unsealed Thursday.

If convicted, Kretsinger faces a statutory maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, authorities said.

Kretsinger is scheduled to appear Thursday before a federal magistrate in U.S. District Court in Phoenix. The government will ask that Kretsinger be moved to Los Angeles to face prosecution.

From May 27 through June 2, federal officials allege that a group known as LulzSec or Lulz Security hacked into Sony’s computer systems. The group's members anonymously took credit for the intrusion on LulzSec’s website.

The indictment alleges that Kretsinger and other co-conspirators obtained confidential information from Sony Pictures’ computer systems using an “SQL injection” attack against its website, a technique commonly used by hackers to exploit vulnerabilities and steal information.

The indictment alleges that Kretsinger and his co-conspirators distributed the stolen information, including by posting the information on LulzSec’s website, and then announced the attack via its Twitter account, authorities said.

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--Andrew Blankstein

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