The summer storm of hacks carried out by Anonymous offshoot LulzSec -- beginning with Fox News in May, and ending with News Corp. in July -- may have gone quiet, but the FBI is just now nabbing some of its alleged masterminds. (If you consider giggly, self-satisfied techies to be such.)
Perhaps the most high-profile LulzSec hack (besides the CIA attack) was that of Sony Pictures Entertainment, whose headquarters are located right here in Culver City. Today, FBI officials proudly announced the capture of 23-year-old Cody Kretsinger, alias "Recursion"...
... who they allege to have been behind the late-May/early-June Sony operation.
The fact that investigators found Kretsinger in Phoenix is telling. LulzSec's politically charged hack of Arizona law-enforcement records in June obviously had some local interest and know-how behind it, and surely cops in the area will have been hunting the perps harder than in other parts of the country, where LulzSec has faded from headlines.
Arizona Department of Public Safety lieutenant Larry Parks told us at the time that officials took the leak very personally:
The officer says he feels terrible for a few of his colleagues, who had their personal info -- wives' names, home addresses, cell phones -- posted on the "Chinga la Migra" home page.
"I find that a little disconcerting," he says. "It makes it a little personal -- makes you worry every time the phone rings."
But the charges Kretsinger faces in L.A. are solely stemming from the Sony breach, which exposed "one million users' personal data, 3.5 million digital coupons and 75,000 music codes." Via Electronista:
LulzSec, which doesn't pursue hacks for commercial gain, cast itself as doing both Sony and the public as a favor. The move would push Sony to lock down its security more thoroughly across its sites. For end users, it was a warning as to how easily compromised Sony's sites were even after the [PlayStation Network] hack and several follow-ups from different sources.
According to City News Service, Kretsinger will come before a federal magistrate in Phoenix today, "at which time the government will request he be transferred to Los Angeles, prosecutors said." If he's found guilty, he could be facing 15 years.
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Only other thing we know about him is he loves Rebecca Black's viral "Friday" music video. Estranged LulzSec member m_nerva posted these logs from the group's private chatroom in late June, including a heap of incriminating statements from Recursion and an admission of "Friday" fandom:
Jun 02 13:55:46 Recursion also, fucking lul on the Friday songJun 02 13:55:49 Recursion who did this?Jun 02 13:55:54 Recursion they deserve mad props.
Well, it's Kretsinger's lucky day: Black, along with the dudes who came up with the (very lulzy) video concept, make their home right here in L.A. And as long as he's sightseeing, we think the accused might also get a kick out of the nine-story statue of a rainbow currently being constructed at enemy headquarters.