Second accused LulzSec hacker arrested in Sony Pictures breach

August 29, 2012

Chicago Tribune on August 28, 2012 released the following:

“Steve Gorman
Reuters

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A second suspected member of the clandestine hacking group LulzSec was arrested on Tuesday on charges he took part in an extensive computer breach of Sony Pictures Entertainment, the FBI said.

Raynaldo Rivera, 20, of Tempe, Arizona, surrendered to U.S. authorities in Phoenix six days after a federal grand jury in Los Angeles returned an indictment charging him with conspiracy and unauthorized impairment of a protected computer.

If convicted, Rivera faces up to 15 years in prison.

The indictment, unsealed on Tuesday, accuses Rivera and co-conspirators of stealing information from Sony Corp’s Sony Pictures’ computer systems in May and June 2011 using an “SQL injection” attack against the studio’s website, a technique commonly employed by hackers.

The indictment said Rivera then helped to post the confidential information onto LulzSec’s website and announced the intrusion via the hacking group’s Twitter account.

While Rivera was the only person named in the indictment, the FBI said his co-conspirators included Cody Kretsinger, 24, a confessed LulzSec member who pleaded guilty in April to federal charges stemming from his role in the Sony attack.

Following the breach, LulzSec published the names, birth dates, addresses, emails, phone numbers and passwords of thousands of people who had entered contests promoted by Sony, and publicly boasted of its exploits.

“From a single injection we accessed EVERYTHING,” the hackers said in a statement at the time. “Why do you put such faith in a company that allows itself to become open to these simple attacks?”

Authorities have said the Sony breach ultimately cost the company more than $600,000.

LulzSec, an underground group also known as Lulz Security, is an offshoot of the international hacking collective Anonymous and has taken credit for such cyber incursions on a number of government and private sector websites.

The latest indictment says Rivera, who went by the online nicknames of “neuron,” “royal” and “wildicv,” is suspected of using a proxy server in a bid to conceal his Internet Protocol, or IP, address, and avoid detection.

Court documents revealed in March that an Anonymous leader known as Sabu, whose real name is Hector Monsegur, had pleaded guilty to hacking-related charges and provided information on his cohorts to the FBI.

That same month, five other suspected leaders of Anonymous, all them alleged to be LulzSec members as well, were charged by federal authorities with computer hacking and other offenses.

An accused British hacker, Ryan Cleary, 20, was indicted by a federal grand jury in June on charges related to LulzSec attacks on several media companies, including Sony Pictures.

Kretsinger, who pleaded guilty to the same two charges now facing Rivera, is slated to be sentenced on October 25. A federal prosecutor said he would likely receive substantially less than the 15-year maximum prison term carried by those offenses.

Anonymous and its offshoots focused initially on fighting attempts at Internet regulation and the blocking of free illegal downloads but have since taken aim at the Church of Scientology, global banking and other targets.

Anonymous, and LulzSec in particular, became notorious in late 2010 when they launched what they called the “first cyber war” in retaliation for attempts to shut down Wikileaks.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Briton Accused of Hacking Fox, PBS Websites

June 14, 2012

ABC News on June 14, 2012 released the following:

“By SHAYA TAYEFE MOHAJER Associated Press

A 20-year-old Briton suspected of links to the hacking group Lulz Security is accused of cracking into websites for a Fox reality TV show, a venerable news show and other sites to deface them or steal personal information, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

A federal grand jury indicted Ryan Cleary on conspiracy and hacking charges for allegedly hacking sites for the talent competition “The X-Factor,” the site for “PBS NewsHour,” Sony Pictures and others.

The indictment filed Tuesday alleges Cleary and his co-conspirators would identify security vulnerabilities in companies’ computer systems and use them to gain unauthorized access and, often, cause mayhem.

In a separate and similar case filed against Cleary in the United Kingdom in 2011, he faces allegations that he and others hacked a law enforcement agency, the Serious Organized Crime Agency, and various British music sites — all while he was still a teenager.

Cleary was taken into custody in March and remains in custody in the United Kingdom, said Laura Eimiller, FBI spokeswoman.

In one instance, the U.S. indictment alleges, Cleary conspired to steal the confidential information of people who registered to get information on auditions for the Fox talent competition “The X-Factor.”

That hack was the first to be claimed by LulzSec, an offshoot of the larger hacking group Anonymous, in tweets about its international hacking spree that began in May 2011.

Later that month, LulzSec claimed to have hacked the website of the Public Broadcasting Service, where a phony news story was posted claiming the dead rapper Tupac Shakur was alive and living in New Zealand.

The post caused a stir on the site for “PBS NewsHour,” an award-winning broadcast news show, and came after the network aired a documentary on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange that was deemed critical. PBS’ ombudsman at the time defended the program’s treatment of Assange as “tough but proper.”

The indictment also alleges LulzSec and Cleary hacked into the computer systems of Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. in June 2011 to steal confidential information of users who had registered on the company’s website.

Cleary faces a maximum of 25 years if convicted on all charges.

Calls and emails to Fox, Sony and “The NewsHour” seeking comment and confirmation were not immediately returned Wednesday.

An after-hours call to Cleary’s legal representative in London was not returned. It was not immediately clear who would represent him in the United States.

LulzSec also has claimed responsibility for hacking incidents not listed in Cleary’s indictment, including hacking the CIA’s public-facing website and the Atlanta chapter of an FBI partner organization called InfraGard.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.