Trending
MOST READ
\'Most Naked Woman\' Set to Shimmy at San Antonio Burlesque Festival

'Most Naked Woman' Set to Shimmy at San Antonio Burlesque Festival

Food & Drink: The answer came unanimously without prompting or hesitation, as if sent straight from the sexually liberated goddess of... By Melanie Robinson 7/30/2014
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Pub: Stay Golden Social House

Pub: Stay Golden Social House

Flavor 2014: Puro meets Pearl-adjacent at this laidback joint that packs a punch with seriously delicious cocktails... 7/29/2014
Profiles in Cosplay from Ivy Doomkitty to Dog Groomers

Profiles in Cosplay from Ivy Doomkitty to Dog Groomers

Arts & Culture: Wizard World Comic Con graces San Antonio for the first time ever. The traveling pop-culture mega fest brings together comic... By Kyla Mora 7/30/2014
Richard Linklater on \'Boyhood,\' a Film Literally 12 Years in the Making

Richard Linklater on 'Boyhood,' a Film Literally 12 Years in the Making

Screens: While most people would call writer/director Richard Linklater’s new independent movie 'Boyhood' one of the film industry’s most ambitious projects... By Kiko Martínez 7/30/2014
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

News

sa_20131030_cover

The $600,000 Joyride: Local hacker and former LulzSec member on why he went to prison

Photo: Courtesy photos, License: N/A

Courtesy photos

Rivera and teacher Beatrice Villarreal in a photo from Rivera’s Somerset High yearbook

Photo: , License: N/A

Rivera’s first-place UIL awards in programming competitions


For many people, “hacker” is a pejorative: A shadowy, ill-defined threat or modern scourge that can, without rhyme or reason, wreak havoc on your world. There’s no doubt a kernel of truth to that characterization. But like most boogeymen, the myth sometimes overshadows the reality. Hackers are often nice, slightly rebellious kids like Somerset High School graduate Raynaldo Rivera.

On Thursday, the 21-year old San Antonio native will enter La Tuna Federal Correction Institute in Anthony, TX to begin a one-year and one day sentence for breaching Sony Pictures Entertainment in May 2011 as a member of Anonymous offshoot, LulzSec.

When he gets out, Rivera will face 13 months of home detention, 1,000 hours of community service and restitution of $605,663, all for taking part in what amounts to an anarchic joyride through cyberspace. On this one, LulzSec didn’t even dent the fender. (No credit cards were used, no physical damage done.)

“I wouldn’t use the term ‘joyride,’” Rivera clarifies from his parents’ home where he’s spending his last few weeks of freedom. “I mean, I went in for the knowledge and in the middle of it you get, ‘Oh shit, what am I doing?’”

Rivera continues, “Once I was in the middle of it, sure, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t like, ‘This is exciting.’ … As a kid with computers you’re like ‘it’d be really cool to be a super-cool hacker.’ Then you’re like, ‘Oh fuck, this was a terrible idea.’ But there’s a point where you’re past the point of no return.”

The inquisitive sort, as a kid Rivera would take apart home appliances and put them back together. His mother, Norma Irene Rodriguez, remembers coming home and finding the answering machine in pieces on the floor. By the time he was nine he had his first computer, and by age 10, he’d taught himself to type. He loved computer games, so he taught himself to program.

“I was like ‘OK, how hard could that be?’ So I learned C++, my first language, when I was 12,” Rivera recalls. “Eventually, however, I became more of a fan of writing middleware—code that adds a major feature to games—and I made an audio engine named CAudio. At the time, it was one of the only fully open-source audio engines that allows for full 3D audio. It’s been used in a wide range of games.”

This was around the same time Rivera’s family left San Antonio for Somerset. He has a sister three years older than him and her teenage antics prompted their move. Living in the city was too just too crazy on the family, so they ventured to Somerset, miles out of town, out past paved roads.

“These kids are like night and day,” says Rodriguez. “My daughter is very sociable. She’s a social butterfly. Guys, girls everything, all the time. I’m like ‘I’m tired, take me out of here.’ So we went to the country and everything kind of settled there [for us] and for my son. It was the best thing I could do.”

Recently in News
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus