Second Ariz. man charged in Sony data breach case

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Data breach

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LOS ANGELES (AP) – A second suspected member of the LulzSec hacking group was arrested Tuesday in Phoenix for his alleged role in a computer breach at Sony Pictures Entertainment last year, authorities said.

An indictment filed in Los Angeles and unsealed Tuesday charged Raynaldo Rivera, 20, of Tempe, Ariz., with one count each of conspiracy and unauthorized impairment of a protected computer. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison.

Rivera was scheduled to appear in a Los Angeles courtroom Sept. 14. It wasn’t immediately known if he had a lawyer.

Sony Pictures computers were compromised last year by the hacking group, whose members anonymously claimed responsibility, investigators said. The organization boasted of accessing more than 1 million accounts, but Sony said about 37,500 users had personal information stolen.

Rivera, known by the monikers “neuron” and “royal,” is accused of obtaining confidential information from Sony, which is based in Culver City, Calif., using a technique to exploit a computer’s vulnerabilities and steal the data.

Rivera and other LulzSec members then posted the information on the organization’s website and announced the attack via the group’s Twitter account.

Another Tempe man, Cody Kretsinger, has pleaded guilty to two counts in the Sony breach and is scheduled for sentencing in October.

Kretsinger, 24, was the first person arrested in the U.S. who is a current or former member of LulzSec, which has been linked to other hacking scandals involving various government and business entities across the world, authorities said.

LulzSec is known for its affiliation with the international hacking group Anonymous.

Parent company Sony Corp. has been dogged by personal data loss problems, including separate hacks that compromised the personal information of more than 100 million users earlier this year.

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