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"Anonymous" Deems Sony's Hacker Litigation Totally Uncool, Goes to War

If you can't connect to PSN today, it's because your strict, disciplinarian principal and that weird kid who likes making pipe bombs are having a spat.

If you are a reader of the corners of the Internet currently dedicated to the game industry, you have probably heard the many twists and turns regarding the tale of of George "GeoHot" Hotz, who, after his successful run as "the guy who jailbroke the iPhone," moved onto hacking of the PlayStation 3 firmware and getting sued by Sony for it. It's been an amusing, interesting story up to this point, with blogs frantically tracking GeoHot's out-of-country sojourns and rap video legal statements like he was the game industry's version of the Hipster Grifter, or something.


Cue teary-eyed guy sobbing "LEAVE PLAYSTATION 3 ALONE!"


Over the course of this week, this story has gotten markedly less amusing and decidedly more uncomfortable, thanks to the actions of notoriously dogged and frequently butthurt hacker group Anonymous, who put out a really adorable threatening statement declaring Sony's civil suit against GeoHot and fellow hacker Alexander "Graf_Chokolo" Egorenkov an affront to hackers everywhere, and warning that they would get their DDoS on with the PlayStation Network as a result of Sony poking their hornet's nest.

Now it appears Anonymous is making good on its threats, with a variety of reports regarding connectivity issues on the PlayStation 3 popping up all over the place. Sony, for their part, has remained relatively mum on the subject, with a moderator forum post on the European PlayStation forums simply offering up a series of known error codes, and a statement that read, "We are currently looking into this and I will update the thread as more information becomes available." Translated from legally approved corporate speak, that roughly translates to, "Uhhhhh...crap?"

== TEASER ==Oh, but that's not all. According to the blog PlayStation Lifestyle, a splinter sect of Anonymous, calling themselves "Sony Recon," has vowed to take things several ominous steps further by digging up all sorts of personal info on Sony executives and their families--including Sony bigwig Sir Howard Stringer--and doing mean stuff with it. That would include the following Internet equivalents of flaming dog crap on a doorstep: 

Craigslist – Make a ad in the “free stuff” section, or in “erotic services” and “casual encounters” as is evident here there are many horny men who will relentlessly pursue someone who they believe to be 19/f.

STD Postcards – send one of these e-postcards notifying the target that one of their previous sexual partners has a STD. Makes for an uncomfortable wait for them. Alternatively call an AIDS hotline and ask them to anonymously tell the target they could have HIV, thats a 6 month wait until the test comes back.

Free UPS Boxes create an account and order the target a couple of hundred boxes & labels, fedex also offer free boxes.

Google Maps use Google maps to locate local businesses to mess with the target.

Call them:

Skype – Use skype to call the target. When you first register a skype account you get one free call…

IP Relay – Ask the operator not to announce at the start of the call. This is a service only available to people in the USA.


Things got even more surreal today when a writer for PlayStation Lifestyle was allowed into the group's inner sanctum--an IRC channel, natch--and given the opportunity to talk to a bunch of these computer-lab Tyler Durdens directly. The resulting story reads a lot like that one time that ABC reporter interviewed Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan, except like a bajilliondy times less intimidating.

What does any of this mean to you, the player of games? Well, for starters, because of some dudes with an anarchistic streak and a slightly overbearing sense of "protecting their own," you may be having some issues with getting online with your PlayStation 3. Anonymous has made it clear that they have no intention of screwing with average consumers or doing anything malicious with any hacked account information--but they pretty much already are screwing with the average consumer. Nobody within Anonymous seems to be too concerned with inconveniencing console owners, because let's face it, when hackers get on their "noble thief" high horse, consumer inconvenience comes second banana to taking down "the establishment."

Anonymous has also stated that they have no intention of messing with journalists who write about them, citing the need for free speech over any desire to control how their "message" is spread. Regardless, I just went ahead and canceled all my credit cards and changed all my passwords, just in case. Alex Navarro on Google+
301 Comments
Posted by Mijati

These people are morons. They're doing no one favours by doing things like this. A "harmless" DDOS attack isn't going to do anything to change someone like Sony's mind. While I don't agree with everything Sony has done (nor do I entirely disagree with it) I think that this isn't going to get them anywhere at all.

Posted by Make_Me_Mad

It seems bizarre that this actually warranted an article.

Posted by Hailinel
@Jeffsekai said:
" Anonymous is not 4chan, calling them the same thing is fucking retarded. The whole point of taking down the PSN so the average person gets pissed off and bitches at Sony, thats the fucking point. People questioning how this will help anything need to look at the bigger picture.

As for everyone else still treating Anonymous like a bunch of kids in their moms basement are just as retarded and misinformed as people saying Anon is the same as 4chan. This Anonymous, while it might not be the same people taking part, is the same group that brought down a government hired firm that was suppose to bring down Anonymous.
"
Any time Anonymous gets involved, I generally feel the urge to root for whoever it is that they're attacking.  DDoSing the hell out of PSN and threatening to release private information pertaining to Sony's executive staff is not how one goes about getting the average person pissed off and bitching at Sony.  Anyone with a brain can see that Anonymous is stirring shit, and that PSN would not be jacked up if it wasn't for their current antics.

Sony is within their legal rights to pursue litigation against George Hotz.  There is no guarantee that the litigation will succeed.  Anonymous's contribution to this entire affair is doing nothing more than making it more difficult to find reason to side with Hotz.
Edited by mutha3
@Jeffsekai said:

"

As for everyone else still treating Anonymous like a bunch of kids in their moms basement are just as retarded and misinformed as people saying Anon is the same as 4chan.
"
What? no, anonymous is comprised of 4chan visitors. They don't have speshul sekrit meetings with each other under a bridge to discuss their next plans, its really usually just someone posting hey CHECK THIS OUT and a movement started by completely separate individuals comes out of it --

Its just a banner for tech-savvy nerds to unite under and get something done.

There is no "they".
Posted by ectoplasma

Comparing this "internet terrorism" to one that actually kills people is not cool.

Posted by animateria

Great write up Alex. I totally agree with you on Anon's stuff messing up the enjoyment of other consumers.


And quite frankly using people's information to grief them to that degree is simply ridiculous. Hell, a lot of them probably aren't involved with the legal issue. 

I wasn't sure how I felt about the whole hacker thing related to Sony, but now I'm fine thinking them as criminals.
Posted by DystopiaX
@Fallen189 said:
" @DystopiaX said:
" @RE_Player92 said:
" Someone on the forums pointed me to what Anonymous say they stand for: 
"People these days seem to think we are some sort of Internet vigilante group, That couldn't be further from the truth. We are the little voice in the back of your head that wants to fuck your hot sixteen year old daughter. We are the father who beats his six year old child simply because he spilled his beer. We are every chef that's ever spit in some random person's food for the hell of it. We are the pyromaniac who burns down the homeless shelter for shits and giggles. We are the person who rapes the same girl twice. We are that feeling you get when you beat your pets; and enjoy it. We see some guy hang himself live, we laugh. A wrestler kills his family, we laugh. Some maladjusted Asian shoots up his university, we laugh. Fifty-thousand die in North Korea, we laugh. AIDS ravages a continent, we laugh. An Austrian man locks his daughter in his basement for 24 years and fathers 8 children with her, we laugh. A religion invented by a psychotic writer swindles countless gullible fucktards out of their cash, we laugh, and then go kick his religion's ass just for the hell of it. We aren't some vigilante group righting wrongs. We aren't your friends, your buddies or your saviors. Your feelings mean nothing to us. We are human nature unencumbered by pointless ethics, foolish moralities or arbitrary laws and restrictions. We are every dark impulse you have; unrestrained and fully realized. We are what deep down, you wish you were. We exist as a means for instant gratification, purely at our own whim. We have no culture, we have no laws, written or otherwise. We are an autonomous collective, each an insignificant part of a whole. You cannot assimilate us, we do not change. You cannot defeat us, we do not exist. You cannot infiltrate us, we know our own. We do not sleep, we do not eat and we do not feel remorse. We will tear you apart from outside and in, we have all the time in the world. You operate under the delusion that we will someday be outdated, that we might even see the light. You are irrevocably wrong. You are not special, you are not unique and you aren't crusaders for justice. You're a blend of college age faggots who think that they can do some sort of good, and who are desperate to belong, to have attention. You have accomplished nothing, and you will fall. Enjoy your AIDS, faggots. "
 
I understand they think they are doing all this for a good cause but show some class. 
"
They're from 4chan. They don't even know what class is. "
It's such narrow minded views like this that make me hate people like you. "
I know people who go to 4chan. I'm not saying they're all terrible people, but you look at the shit anonymous has done, the shit they put out, then go into b and look at the typical poster there, and I can safely say it's not an overgeneralization to say most of those dudes lack class.
Posted by ThaMilkMan

I think it's awesome, fight for your rights anonymous stand up for your peeps when they are in need...people on the internet don't understand loyalty...or how the world works for that matter, I hope no one gets too sued cause that's lame Sony stop being lame, c'mon duders.

Posted by LiquidS

Anonymous balances out the shit from the main stream/corporate a little...

Not saying everything they do is right but I am glad they exist.
Posted by AmericanNinja

These "hackers" couldnt even hack a terminal in Dead Space 2.

Posted by CrazedJoker

I had a problem signing in earlier, I just unplugged the ps3 for a second and plugged it back in, it worked after that.


Posted by Boom_goes_the_dynamite

I don't know about you guys, but I like this Alex fellow, he speaks his mind.  :)

Posted by TheJoker138

Anon causes PSN errors, no one notices due to how unstable and shitty PSN always is anyway.

Posted by wickedsc3

More power to them!  

Posted by mutha3
@paulunga said:
" .Also, if that is your reaction to one instance of "butthurt", you might want to stay away from Gawker sites and joystiq. "
I already do.
Posted by TheKing

This is crazy! Doesn't effect me either way though I mostly just use my PS3 as a Blu-ray player.

Posted by Trilogy
@Pinworm45 said:
" hey guys check out this cool site 4chan go to random it's a cool spot where we can trade pictures of cats and games and epic wins and fails! lol! "
eheheh!   ^_^
Edited by RsistncE

As much as I dislike Sony for how they've been treating this whole hacking affair, I dislike Anon and the other organized groups who congregate around 4chan just as much. Apparently the little shit eating fuck heads don't realize that their fingers can be broken.

Posted by p_p_o_d
 Anonymous are pretty fickle.

give it a few days.  sony will get some more security to fight DDoS attacks and Anon will move along to whatever else grinds there gears that week.


Sony PR people better just keep there mouths shut and dont mention Anon even once.... that will just cause more trouble



Posted by Hailinel
@LiquidS said:
" Anonymous balances out the shit from the main stream/corporate a little...
Not saying everything they do is right but I am glad they exist.
"
By performing DDoS attacks?

Errol Flynn's Robin Hood could be a jackass, but he was a jackass with class.  Anonymous is just a group of classless internet bullies.  There is no standing up for the little guy here.  They are not robbing from the rich to give to the poor.  They're just doing it to be dicks to Sony and by extension to everyone that might have any inkling of interest in playing games on PSN.
Posted by Immuniity

As soon as you give someone abd AIDS scare a significant line is crossed. Fight for whatever you want, but don't be inhuman about it.

Posted by tourgen

Kinda sounds about the same as forming a protest line outside a business.  It's inconvenient for shoppers but not necessarily harmful and it gets the message out.

Posted by familyphotoshoot

I'm pretty that YouTube video is supposed to be a satire on the one that was posted about Scientology a few years ago.

Either way, I don't have a PS3 so I don't give a fuck.

Posted by zombie2011

These guys are awesome, the take themselves so seriously lol.

Posted by MAST

I find it amusing that every time something like this comes up, where they say that people are having trouble signing into PSN, or that a firmware update totally screwed up their console, etc. The first thing I do is turn my Playstation on, and try it out, and I never, absolutely never have any problems.
Since I bought my PS3 five years ago, there have been numerous instances where people say the PS3, or PSN is undergoing issues, and I immediately get on, and discover that everything is fine... Maybe I'm just one lucky S.O.B, I don't know. I just find it odd that whenever stuff like this happens, I personally never have any problems.


Anyway, all this crap is stupid and juvenile. Sony has the right to protect it's products from piracy, and ensure that their consumers are having an enjoyable online experience. I really hope they put the screws to GeoHotz, Anonymous, and any other hacker out there. Hell, I hope they get locked in prison for the rest of their lives...

Posted by lokilaufey
@daggon55 said:
" Childish e-terror tantrums are by far the most effective means of sticking it to THE MAN.It sure showed Amazon and Paypal a thing or two... "
Yup it's soooo effective.
Edited by Kyreo
@craigbo180 said:

" That reference made me remember Chris Crocker. Not cool. "

I also thought of Chris Crocker.  Great minds...
Posted by OmegaPirate

F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5


WE r 1337 herp
Edited by Seppli

I got to read a book today because of their shennanigans. Was well entertained by it. Reading Dark Tower at the moment.

Other than that - leave PSN alone please.

Posted by bhhawks78

Sony deserves whatever negative harassment/server issues they get.


I don't see Nintendo and MS threatening youtube with lawsuits to get thousands of peoples IP addresses.  
Posted by MAST
@TheJoker138 said:
" Anon causes PSN errors, no one notices due to how unstable and shitty PSN always is anyway. "
Lol, dramatic lies ftw? Read my comment below this one. As I said, I've absolutely never had any problems with PSN over the 5 years I've been using it. It always works for me, and works well. Just as well as Xbox Live (hmm, a free service that works just as well as a paid service...)
Posted by Nettacki
@MAST said:
" I find it amusing that every time something like this comes up, where they say that people are having trouble signing into PSN, or that a firmware update totally screwed up their console, etc. The first thing I do is turn my Playstation on, and try it out, and I never, absolutely never have any problems. Since I bought my PS3 five years ago, there have been numerous instances where people say the PS3, or PSN is undergoing issues, and I immediately get on, and discover that everything is fine... Maybe I'm just one lucky S.O.B, I don't know. I just find it odd that whenever stuff like this happens, I personally never have any problems.Anyway, all this crap is stupid and juvenile. Sony has the right to protect it's products from piracy, and ensure that their consumers are having an enjoyable online experience. I really hope they put the screws to GeoHotz, Anonymous, and any other hacker out there. Hell, I hope they get locked in prison for the rest of their lives... "
And open the door to more Orwellian ways of controlling the user experience? Come on.
Edited by Konanda

Oh hey! It's an article where Alex Nevarro is being condescending when talking about something he disagrees with.

Edited by Boom_goes_the_dynamite

Just had an idea, what if a group of super hackers forms, even better than Anonymous and starts hacking into their stuff finding out who each hacker is and reporting them to the cops or something.  At first this only results in Anonymous losing numbers as their weaker hackers slowly get picked off.     

 Eventually this results in Anonymous getting better by having only the "ELITE HAXORZ" left and so they retaliate and eventually a full out war begins of hackers attacking other hackers.  This would continue until only the super hacker remains, who then goes and works for Sony and finally does something with his/her life... I don't know still trying to come up with an ending.  
Posted by Snail

Over the course of this week, this story has gotten markedly less amusing and decidedly more uncomfortable

Less amusing? This is the internets at work! How can this be less amusing?

Posted by UnrealDP

its like a group of little kids are throwing a tantrum and repeating cool words they heard from the adults like free speach
Posted by CL60
@MAST said:
" @TheJoker138 said:
" Anon causes PSN errors, no one notices due to how unstable and shitty PSN always is anyway. "
Lol, dramatic lies ftw? Read my comment below this one. As I said, I've absolutely never had any problems with PSN over the 5 years I've been using it. It always works for me, and works well. Just as well as Xbox Live (hmm, a free service that works just as well as a paid service...) "
Nope.
Posted by Bengosha

What a bunch-a-crunch-a-assholes.

Edited by SoldierG654342

When you are complaining about the decorum of a group, it's in poor form to use terms like "butthurt" and make Chris Crocker jokes. 

Posted by chilibean_3
@TheJoker138 said:
" Anon causes PSN errors, no one notices due to how unstable and shitty PSN always is anyway. "

Yeah, I pretty much assumed it was business as usual when people first started complaining. 
Posted by PrivateIronTFU

Why are these guys being total dicks for no reason? Ugh. Nerds are just the absolute worst some times.

Posted by MAST
@Nettacki said:
"And open the door to more Orwellian ways of controlling the user experience? Come on. "
People like you baffle me. You act like business is a new thing. Of course Sony has the right to protect it's interest. All of you making comments in these threads saying that Sony is getting what they deserve, hacking should be allowed, and "down with the man" are idiots. Honestly.

Long story short, if you had a business, and created a product, and then your vision for that product got dashed to pieces and destroyed by hackers, as well as destroying your means of income, and your reputation because of game piracy, and rampant cheating. You'd be just as pissed as Sony, and be going through legal channels just as hard to try and get it stopped. Period. End of story...
People like you just jump on a high-horse on forums because you can. When in reality, you'd be doing the same thing as Sony if you were in their position. Of course you'd lie, and say you wouldnt. Probably say something about how you fight for freedom, and for the people, or some shit like that. You'd basically be as juvenile as this Anonymous group. But we all know that if the situation was reversed, you'd prove to be a hypocrite.

Either way, at least I know the Giantbomb guys share my opinion. There have been older podcasts where they say essentially the same thing. This is not the first time hacking, or businesses protecting their interests has been a topic. At least I know there are some levelheaded adults out there that view all of this properly.
Posted by MAST
@CL60 said:
" @MAST said:
" @TheJoker138 said:
" Anon causes PSN errors, no one notices due to how unstable and shitty PSN always is anyway. "
Lol, dramatic lies ftw? Read my comment below this one. As I said, I've absolutely never had any problems with PSN over the 5 years I've been using it. It always works for me, and works well. Just as well as Xbox Live (hmm, a free service that works just as well as a paid service...) "
Nope. "
Fact.
Posted by Nettacki
@Boom_goes_the_dynamite: That super hacker continues to function as the best option for Sony's security measures and basically manages to be a sort of impassable barrier for most hackers to penetrate.
Posted by Hailinel
@Nettacki said:
" @Boom_goes_the_dynamite: That super hacker continues to function as the best option for Sony's security measures and basically manages to be a sort of impassable barrier for most hackers to penetrate. "
What.  How does that justify what he does?
Posted by Afroman269

Digging up personal info on the execs? What cool guys...

Posted by Rattle618

Nice, hack the world!.

BTW "  frequently butthurt hacker group "? The man that wrote these words is not a particularly bright one...
Posted by animateria
@Hailinel said:
" @Nettacki said:
" @Boom_goes_the_dynamite: That super hacker continues to function as the best option for Sony's security measures and basically manages to be a sort of impassable barrier for most hackers to penetrate. "
What.  How does that justify what he does? "
Man, hacking never changes.
Posted by RedRoach

never forget Dusty.

Posted by Napalm
@RE_Player92: I am nearly certain that wherever you got that quote from, isn't from the "real" Anonymous hacker group. And by that, I mean the ones that started shutting down the bank websites that shut down Julian Assange's credit/donations/whatever linked to WikiLeaks. I think this because a reporter from Reuters met up with one of them in an IRC room and was able to get an interview, asking about what they did, why and their intentions, and it was essentially a one-eighty degree philosophy from that quote you posted, talking strictly about how they wanted to keep free speech a thing that people wouldn't fear, and helping WikiLeaks. I suggest you start linking where you got that quote from, as it's only going to paint these Anonymous fellows in a much worse light than they actually are.

That is, unless this group is not the one who sided with WikiLeaks. Or, if that is just an overly-fervent one-off anon "speaking for" the entire group without general consensus. If that's the case, then they/him/her is just an asshats.