A 20-year-old hacker faces up to five years in prison after admitting to taking part in the theft of a trove of data on people who had entered Sony Pictures contests, Graham Cluley of nakedsecurity reports.
Arizona native Raynalo Rivera, who used online nicknames including “neuron”, “royal,” and “wildicy,” acknowledged that he broke into the Sony Pictures website in May 2011 and extracted confidential user information such as names, birth dates, addresses, emails, phone numbers, and passwords.
Authorities said the hack cost Sony more than $605,000.
The hacker collective LulzSec, a highly disruptive offshoot of Anonymous, subsequently published the personal information online.
Cluley notes that Rivera attempted to hide his identity by using the HideMyAss anonymising proxy service to disguise his IP address, but HideMyAss co-operated with the law enforcement when given a court order to provide the IP information.
Under his plea agreement, Rivera will pay restitution to Sony and a fine of at least $250,000 in addition to the maximum five-year prison sentence.
Computer Business Review notes that in June, two UK members of LulzSec pleaded guilty to a string of cyber attacks on high profile websites while another UK member, Ryan Cleary, was indicted by an L.A. federal grand jury.
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