Arizona man charged in Sony hacking case

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By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Federal agents say they have arrested an Arizona man accused of hacking into the computers of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller says Cody Kretsinger, 23, was arrested Thursday and was expected to make a court appearance later in the day in Phoenix.

An indictment unsealed Thursday in Los Angeles charges Kretsinger with one count each of conspiracy and unauthorized impairment of a protected computer.

Sony Pictures computers were compromised earlier this year by a group known as Lulz Security, whose members anonymously claimed responsibility.

The film company has said more than 37,000 users had personally identifiable information stolen.

Authorities say Kretsinger is believed to be a current or former member of LulzSec, which has been linked to other hacking scandals, including at least three attacks on Arizona law-enforcement agencies.

LulzSec is affiliated with an international group of hackers known only as "Anonymous."

According to the FBI, the government will ask that Kretsinger be tried in Los Angeles. If convicted, he could face up to 15 years in prison.