Tempe college student charged in Sony Pictures hacking case

Tempe college student charged in Sony Pictures hacking case

by Jose Zavala and Angela Piazza – Sept. 23, 2011 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic-12 News Breaking News Team

A Tempe college student whose career goal is working in network security was arrested Thursday on charges of hacking into Sony Pictures Entertainment’s computer network.

An indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles accuses Cody Kretsinger, 23, of conspiracy and unauthorized impairment of a protected computer.

He appeared before a federal magistrate in Phoenix on Thursday afternoon and was released without bail.

Under the terms of his release, Kretsinger can use a computer for work or school only.

Efforts to reach Kretsinger were unsuccessful.

According to the indictment, Kretsinger is a member of an elite collective of hackers called Lulz Security, or LulzSec, a group that has claimed responsibility for launching a cyberattack on Sony Pictures in late May and early June.

LulzSec posted private information on tens of thousands of Sony customers, including their usernames, passwords, e-mail addresses and phone numbers, on the hacker group’s website.

Officials believe that Kretsinger went by the moniker “recursion” and used a proxy server to hide his Internet Protocol address. He was able to exploit Sony Pictures’ database by giving its input system an overloading series of commands, according to the Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Christensen.

After the attack on Sony Pictures, Kretsinger permanently erased the hard drive of his computer to avoid detection by law enforcement, according to the indictment.

In June, LulzSec took responsibility for hacking into the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s computers and releasing hundreds of law-enforcement files. It said the attack was retaliation for SB 1070, an Arizona law designed to crack down on illegal immigration.

The files, which were placed on LulzSec’s website, included personal information about law-enforcement officers and numerous documents ranging from routine alerts from out-of-state police agencies to videos and photos about the hazards of police work and the operations of drug gangs.

LulzSec has also claimed to have breached the websites of the CIA and the U.S. Senate.

Kretsinger is originally from Decatur, Ill. He moved to Arizona in August 2010 to pursue the University of Advancing Technology’s network-security curriculum, according to a UAT newsletter from July.

In the same newsletter, he was named UAT’s Student of the Month.

He said in the newsletter that his dream was to work for the Department of Defense or the National Security Agency.

“While I wouldn’t mind being a penetration tester, I think it’s a lot more fun to try to build and secure a network and its devices from the ground up.” Kretsinger said.

Kretsinger could face 15 years in prison if convicted.

The Electronic Crimes Task Force in Los Angeles, which includes the FBI and the Los Angeles Police Department, conducted the investigation.

Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2011/09/22/20110922tempe-man-charged-sony-hacking-case-abrk.html#ixzz1Yn8HtQpO

Italian PHD Students looking for short term housing

Northwest Tempe Neighborhoods List

If you can help out the visiting students, contact Flora directly at the email address below. Thanks!


——- Original Message ——–

Subject: Hosting Italian PhD students for one month
Date: Fri, 9 Sep 2011 14:56:28 -0700
From: flora farago <florafarago300@gmail.com>
To: Karyn Gitlis <kgitlis@interwrx.com>

Hi Karyn,

There are two Italian Ph.D. students visiting our lab, who are looking for accommodation between Oct 9th-Nov 2nd. It is impossible to find an apartment for such a short time period, and hotels can get quite costly.

Is there anyone in the neighborhood who could host them? They are willing to pay about 300-350 per room.

Even if someone has room for just one of them, that would work.

Please forward this e-mail to the residents of our neighborhood.

Thank you,


Flora Farago

Graduate Research Assistant

School of Social and Family Dynamics

Program in Family and Human Development

Arizona State University

Arizona State University

It’s the 400lb Gorilla in the room.   How does ASU enhance our community,  in what ways can outreach be improved,  what are the chalenges we need to overcome?