A second suspected LulzSec hacker was arrested Tuesday on charges he took part in an extensive computer breach of Sony Pictures Entertainment, Reuters reports. Raynaldo Rivera, 20, of Tempe, Arizona, surrendered to U.S. authorities in Phoenix six days after a Los Angeles federal grand jury accused him and co-conspirators of stealing information from Sony Pictures’ computer systems in May and June 2011. LulzSec then boasted about the breach and published names, birth dates, addresses, emails, phone numbers and passwords of thousands of people who had entered contests promoted by Sony. An accused British hacker, Ryan Cleary, 20, was indicted by a federal grand jury in June on charges related to LulzSec attacks on media companies including Sony Pictures, Fox Entertainment Group and PBS. The FBI said Rivera’s co-conspirators included Cody Kretsinger, 24, a confessed LulzSec member who pleaded guilty in April to federal charges in the Sony attack. Kretsinger is slated to be sentenced on October 25.
In a plot twist that’s ripe for adapting into a big-budget feature, federal prosecutors revealed today that the ringleader of the notorious LulzSec hacking group had actually been an informant for the FBI for the past six months, providing information that lead to today’s arrest of three LulzSec members and conspiracy charges against two others. The LulzSec and the larger Anonymous networks have been accused of devastating hacking attacks on the U.S. government and major corporations — including Fox, PBS and Sony. Hector Xavier Monsegur — who is said to go by the pseudonym Sabu — is the unlikely mastermind of the loosely organized hacking group charged with stealing confidential information, attacking websites and putting some out of operation temporarily. The group claimed it was partly motivated by the desire to expose lax security measures at big corporations. Using information Monsegur supplied — even while allegedly continuing to post provocative attacks on the government on his Twitter account — FBI agents today arrested two hackers in Britain, another two in Ireland and a fifth in Chicago and unveiled the charges against them and Monsegur. They are accused of being the key leaders of LulzSec. “This is devastating to the organization,” said an FBI official involved with the investigation. “We’re chopping off the head of LulzSec.”