A 23-year-old man, suspected of being a member of the LulzSec hacking gang, has pleaded not guilty to an attack on the Sony Pictures website.
Cody Kretsinger, from Phoenix, Arizona, pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and unauthorized impairment of a protected computer during a hearing at Los Angeles District Court.
Kretsinger is alleged to be the LulzSec member known as "Recursion", and is accused of being involved in an SQL injection attack that stole information from Sony Pictures in June, exposing users email addresses and passwords.
Approximately 150,000 confidential records were subsequently published online by LulzSec who mocked Sony's weak security:
"SonyPictures.com was owned by a very simple SQL injection, one of the most primitive and common vulnerabilities, as we should all know by now. From a single injection, we accessed EVERYTHING. Why do you put such faith in a company that allows itself to become open to these simple attacks?"
Prosecutors claim that Kretsinger used the HideMyAss.com proxy server website to disguise his IP address as he allegedly probed Sony Pictures' computer systems in May 2011, hunting for vulnerabilities.
HideMyAss.com's terms and conditions stipulate that their service is not to be used for illegal activity, however, and they co-operated with the authorities when a court order was received requesting information.
Kretsinger's trial is scheduled to begin on December 13th. If convicted he faces up to 15 years in prison.Follow @gcluley
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