Sony's attempt to lock back up the PlayStation 3 and go after those who passed out keys may have stirred the hacker hive. Hacker group "Anonymous" says Sony's legal actions against PS3 hacktivist George 'Geohot' Hotz are attacks on free speech, and that it's officially declared cyberwar on the company.
In a statement published to open-posting site AnonNews, the group accuses Sony of censorship, violating privacy rights, abusing the legal system, and one further rather childishly described metaphorical offense.
"Now you will experience the wrath of Anonymous," threatens the group. "We are Legion. We do not Forgive. We do not forget. Expect us."
They're not messing around, or at least they claim they're not. It's tough to say whether they've in fact messed with much of anything, but PlayStation LifeStyle claimed yesterday that the group had targeted sites Sony.com and PlayStation.com with denial of service attacks, and that the sites were up but "extremely slow." Other sites essentially piggybacked on that story.
No one's yet verified the extent of the attacks, much less qualified their "success," but yesterday Sony's official Q&A Twitter account noted the PlayStation Network was "undergoing sporadic maintenance" and that "access to the PSN [might] be interrupted throughout the day."
Does that explain my own issues signing into Netflix last night? Who knows, but I had the same problem signing in Sunday night, too--well before any of this was underway. The ghost of hacktivism past, or just the echo chamber?
I support, in principle, the idea that jailbreaking a device like the PlayStation 3 is and ought to remain legal, but the stunts above just seem wrongheaded and juvenile, conflating activism with vandalism, and free speech with sabotage.
It gets worse: An even more militantly anti-Sony Anonymous offshoot calling itself "SonyRecon" says it's targeting Sony individuals, unearthing employee personal details, then posting them in public spaces. Some may even be sleuthing for information about employees' children: At one point, a hacker complained "No one found ANY info on Stringers [sic] kids?” (in reference to Howard Stringer, president and CEO of Sony Corporation).
That's more than disturbing, it's reprehensible--a clear example of how not to win friends and influence others, and how to undermine your argument by engaging in cyber-depravity.