Accused LulzSec hacker Cody Kretsinger - aka "Recursion" - has entered a guilty plea in a California federal court.
According to court documents obtained by Reuters, Kretsinger admitted to taking part in an extensive campaign against Sony Pictures Entertainment, pleading guilty to conspiracy and unauthorized impairment of a protected computer.
"I joined LulzSec, your honor, at which point we gained access to the Sony Pictures website," Kretsinger told the judge.
Kretsinger also confirmed that the extracted data was transferred to other members of the Anonymous offshoot who subsequently posted it on the group’s website and Twitter.
Kretsinger, along with Sabu (aka Hector Xavier Monsegur) and Topiary (aka Jake Davis) stand accused of stealing the personal information of thousands after launching an SQL injection against Sony’s website and racking up more than $600,000 in damages.
Nevertheless, Kretsinger has apparently managed to clinch a plea agreement with prosecutors. While assistant US Attorney Eric Vandevelde would not comment on whether Kretsinger was cooperating with authorities in exchange for leniency in sentencing, he did acknowledge that "Recursion" would probably receive substantially less than the 15-year maximum sentence he faces.
It should be noted that Sabu, the LulzSec chief hacker turned FBI informant, has also worked out a plea deal with prosecutors. Indeed, Monsegur was also accused of attempting to sell four pounds of marijuana, buying stolen jewelry and using a former employer's credit card to make $15,000 in purchases. However, he won't be charged for the above-mentioned crimes due to his cooperation with law enforcement officials.
Sabu pleaded guilty in 2011 to 12 criminal charges, including three counts of conspiracy to engage in computer hacking, conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. Although Monsegur theoretically faces 122 years in prison, prosecutors are likely to recommend leniency in return for his "substantial assistance" in taking down LulzSec.