A LulzSec hacker has been sentenced to a year in a US jail for hacking Sony Pictures and dumping personal information of 138,000 movie fans online.
Raynaldo Rivera, 21, of Tempe, Arizona, will spend 366 days behind bars, followed by 13 months of house arrest and 1,000 hours of community service for his involvement in the infamous hack.
Rivera was further ordered by US District Judge John Kronstadt to pay $605,663 in compensation to Sony's movie division, a target for hacktivists due to its hardline stance against copyright infringement on file-sharing networks.
The miscreant - known online as “neuron” and a member of hacking crew LulzSec - was sentenced on Thursday after earlier pleading guilty. He admitted compromising Sony's systems in 2011 and leaking swiped personal information with the help of another LulzSec member. The spilled data included the names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of tens of thousands of Sony customers.
The hack was pulled off using a SQL injection attack against the entertainment goliath's film website.
That other member of LulzSec was Cody Andrew Kretsinger (AKA “recursion”), who was thrown into a federal jail for a year and a day back in April and fined an equal amount for his part in the crime.
Rivera and Kretsinger studied together at the University of Advancing Technology in Tempe, Arizona. Kretsinger joined LulzSec first before recruiting Rivera, according to prosecutors. Neither were part of the core group of six LulzSec hackers - one of whom, Xavier “Sabu” Monsegur, became an FBI informant.
It's unclear how the FBI-led prosecution of the LulzSec gang caught up with Rivera and Kretsinger, but a tip off by Sabu has to be a possibility. A combination of operational mistakes by the pair and skilled computer forensics is very likely to have played some sort of role.
A Department of Justice statement on Rivera's sentencing can be found here. ®