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Press Release

Second Member Of Hacking Group Sentenced To Over Year In Prison For Stealing Customer Information From Sony Pictures Computers

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Central District of California

LOS ANGELES – A member of the LulzSec hacking group was sentenced this morning to one year and one day in federal prison for participating in an extensive computer attack that compromised the computer systems of Sony Pictures Entertainment and resulted in personal information of more than 138,000 people being posted on the Internet.

Raynaldo Rivera, known by the online moniker “neuron,” of Chandler, Arizona, 21, was sentenced by United States District Judge John A. Kronstadt. In addition to the prison sentence, Judge Kronstadt ordered Rivera to serve 13 months of home detention, to perform 1,000 hours of community service and to pay $605, 663 in restitution.

Rivera pleaded guilty last October to conspiring to cause damage to a protected computer after participating in the attack on Sony Pictures in 2011.

Lulzsec’s goal in the attacks on Sony Pictures and other corporate and government entities, according to a court document, was to see the “raw, uninterrupted, chaotic thrill of entertainment and anarchy” and to provide stolen personal information “so that equally evil people can entertain us with what they do with it.”

Another member of LulzSec, Cody Andrew Kretsinger, who used the online moniker “recursion,” was sentenced in April to one year and one day in federal prison. In addition to the prison term, Judge Kronstadt ordered Kretsinger to serve one year of home detention following the completion of his prison sentence, to perform 1,000 hours of community service, and to pay $605,663 in restitution.

Rivera and Kretsinger studied together at the University of Advancing Technology in Tempe, Arizona. Kretsinger first joined LulzSec, and then he recruited Rivera to join the group, prosecutors said.

Rivera, Kretsinger and others involved in the intrusion obtained confidential information from Sony Pictures’ computer systems by using an “SQL injection” attack against Sony Pictures’ website. The attackers distributed the stolen data on the Internet, information that included names, addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses for tens of thousands of Sony customers.

LulzSec is known for its affiliation with “Anonymous,” which is a loose collective of computer hackers and others around the world who conduct cyber attacks and disseminate confidential information stolen from victims’ computers. In 2011, LulzSec engaged in “a two-month rampage of cyber attacks against various corporate and government entities in the United States and the United Kingdom,” according to a sentence memorandum filed by prosecutors.

This investigation into the attack on Sony Pictures’ computer systems was conducted by the Electronic Crimes Task Force (ECTF) in Los Angeles.  The ECTF is comprised of agents and officers from the FBI, the United States Secret Service, the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the United States Attorney’s Office, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and the California Highway Patrol.

Release No. 13-102

Updated June 22, 2015