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301 Comments

"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 HydraHam
@bhhawks78 said:
" 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.  
"
No, the hackers deserve to be hunted down and thrown in jail, fact is what they are doing is illegal, as much as i don't agree with any big coporations practices i find this more childish, ignorant and basement virgin like, not only are they fucking over sony they are fucking over fans and people who use these services.

anon isn't for anyone but themselves, they are nothing more than wannabe keyboard warrior virgins that need a wake up call.
Posted by JeanLuc

uhh I really hate Anonymous.

Sometimes their goals seem just but in cases like this they are harming the consumers which are the very people they talk about defending.
Posted by SSully
@Konanda said:
"

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

"
You are acting like it is a bad thing
Posted by demontium

Awesome

Edited by Zabant

"  butthurt hacker group Anonymous "

Really alex? 
really?


You're just as bad as they are with but without the hacking skills

Posted by dvorak
@Afroman269 said:
" Digging up personal info on the execs? What cool guys... "
I know! Just imagine all the free games we'll be showered in when they all get 50 pizzas sent to each of their homes. 

...right?
Posted by Nettacki
@MAST: Hey now, I'm not the one saying all those things. Just the one about opening the way for Orwellian ways and stuff. I personally have no problem with Sony's rights to protect their property, nor do I have any personal vendetta against them. I do think that sometimes, both sides cross the line somewhere and that at one point or another, our overall user experience may become compromised by draconian laws and regulations.
Posted by Strongbadman47
@DystopiaX said:
" @Fallen189 said:
" @DystopiaX said:
" @RE_Player92 said:
" 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. "
Since when is lacking class on the internet a bad thing?
I wasn't aware there was a one and true way to be on the internet.
What's wrong with escaping reality for a bit and being yourself without the threat of being judged harshly? I don't think it's right to harm or harass people, or that Anonymous is doing the right thing. But looking down on Anonymous and believing they're scum is pretty terrible itself.
Posted by Santa_8aby
@animateria: Neither does war, for that matter. ;)
Posted by EveretteScott
@Getz said:
" Boohoo, I can't play my playstation 3 because of anti-capitalist terrorism. WAAAHHHHH "
You sound dumb.
Posted by DystopiaX
@Strongbadman47 said:
" @DystopiaX said:
" @Fallen189 said:
" @DystopiaX said:
" @RE_Player92 said:
" 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. "
Since when is lacking class on the internet a bad thing?I wasn't aware there was a one and true way to be on the internet.What's wrong with escaping reality for a bit and being yourself without the threat of being judged harshly? I don't think it's right to harm or harass people, or that Anonymous is doing the right thing. But looking down on Anonymous and believing they're scum is pretty terrible itself. "
Because blowing off steam and hacking/disrupting legitimate businesses and harassing people are two seperate things. The things you said you don't approve of are exactly the things that Anonymous is doing, and they spawn from 4chan. Everytime I have been to 4chan it has struck me as the center of all internet maturity. While that's fine for some people it's not my thing, and my original comment of 4chan not having class stands because they don't. Whether or not you like that is up to you.
Posted by dvorak

All I know is that back when that VISA/Master Card bullshit went down, there was 3 or 4 hours where I couldn't run any credit cards at my business and it was total bullshit. What a bunch of fucking idiots. 


And even as inconvenient as it was, they are basically pranking people with the risk that they end up in jail for 3-5 years minimum if caught. I can hardly see how that is worth it, no large corporation is ever going to cede to their script hacking bullshit.
Posted by FancySoapsMan

Their intentions are good.

Their method of carrying them out, however, is not.

Edited by OmegaPirate

 Am i the only one thinking that it isnt really newsworthy press? and by making this an article it's making a bigger deal out of the situation than there actually is, and maybe letting them think they are 'winning' some kind of 'war'?

Meh, they are about as threatening and effective as corgis

Oh shi....
Posted by EmuLeader

Wow, these guys stoop pretty low.  As soon as I read they were accessing private information on families and the like and using to grief people, they instantly loss any sympathy to their cause whatsoever.  I really hope that guy loses his lawsuit.  If he's anything like the company he keeps, there's no way i could feel sorry for him.

Online
Posted by Sankis

What a bunch of babies.

Posted by Spekingur

I'm pretty sure that almost any major government you can think of is employing hackers to do "worse stuff" than Anon will ever be able to.


A side note:
Anon is not really a hacker group - it is more of a hacker hivemind. Anyone who has visited 4chan will understand.
Posted by Zor
@DystopiaX said:
Because blowing off steam and hacking/disrupting legitimate businesses and harassing people are two seperate things. The things you said you don't approve of are exactly the things that Anonymous is doing, and they spawn from 4chan. Everytime I have been to 4chan it has struck me as the center of all internet maturity. While that's fine for some people it's not my thing, and my original comment of 4chan not having class stands because they don't. Whether or not you like that is up to you. "
So says DystopiaX, and his word is law. So the discussion is over, time to move along... On a side note, i do find it funny that a user with the name Dystopia is arguing for compliance in order to keep the status quo.  

Edited by MAST
@Nettacki said:

" @MAST: Hey now, I'm not the one saying all those things. Just the one about opening the way for Orwellian ways and stuff. I personally have no problem with Sony's rights to protect their property, nor do I have any personal vendetta against them. I do think that sometimes, both sides cross the line somewhere and that at one point or another, our overall user experience may become compromised by draconian laws and regulations. "

Ahh, ok. Gotcha. Yeah that's something I can agree with.

I definitely don't view Sony as some innocent, pure entity. They're a cold-hearted company. Really, I don't have any compassion for either side necessarily. If I could play games on a nice console without having to deal with a company, terms of service, or other forms of legality and corporate greed, that'd be great. It's just never gonna happen. They are a necessary evil.

I just don't get people that side with groups like "Anonymous." It's an extreme that's going to accomplish nothing. It feels akin to PETA doing something extreme, and going after people that eat meat. It leads nowhere. There are people in these comments that are just about as overboard with what they say, and it baffles me.
Posted by Creamypies

I am an average consumer... and I feel screwed.


I don't really understand what fight they are trying to fight exactly. They are pissed off because Sony are suing a guy who is doing things with his PS3 that he shouldn't be, and is potentially a threat to the security of the system? What sort of a fight is that?

Anon, go fuck around with a company and service that deserve your attitude. I liked you when you did all those protests outside of Scientology churches. Now, however, I think you're being overly pretentious for the sake of it

 Leave Sony alone.
Posted by ajamafalous

Alex, please write every article for this site from now on.


Thanks.

Posted by Chadster

The internet somehow manages to get more hilarious and crazy as time goes on.

Posted by thejke

Even though I am currently very mad a sony(see my thread on sony telling me to go ban myself), going after peoples family is not cool.  DDOS attack are fine but you have to drawl the line somewhere.

Posted by StriderNo9

Balls, you have them.

Posted by Getz
@EveretteScott said:
" @Getz said:
" Boohoo, I can't play my playstation 3 because of anti-capitalist terrorism. WAAAHHHHH "
You sound dumb. "
I think you meant intelligent.
Posted by TheFreeMan
@RE_Player92 said:
" Someone on the forums pointed me to what Anonymous say they stand for: 
*Big silly essay*

I understand they think they are doing all this for a good cause but show some class. 
"
That huge wall of text of what Anonymous "stands for" is one of the strangest things I've ever read.

ESCALATION TO INTERNET REVOLUTION YEAH
Posted by Nomin


Well GB, way to stand up for the man who feeds ya. Expect a DDoS attack in a matter of days.

 

It marks the first time on the news feed that a word 'butthurt' was used...a momentous ocassion for the incline of the zeitgeist, and the plan is well set into motion..

Posted by Marz

I understand these kids all want to fight for their so called "freedom"  but what about the rights of people's privacy.  Trying to dig up personal information to harass employees is not cool and the wrong way to go about doing things.

Posted by AuthenticM

As much as I consider Anonymous a bunch of fat, lifeless fuckers, I really hope Hotz wins in court.

Online
Posted by Animasta
@OmegaPirate said:
"
 Am i the only one thinking that it isnt really newsworthy press? and by making this an article it's making a bigger deal out of the situation than there actually is, and maybe letting them think they are 'winning' some kind of 'war'?

Meh, they are about as threatening and effective as corgis

Oh shi....
"
ADORABLE.
Posted by HubrisRanger

Fuck.

Fuuuuuuuuck.

Okay, Anon. I get that you like to have stuff for free, and that this whole "freedom of information" platform is a high horse from which you  can rant all Palahniukian about how you're doing the people a service because, hey, at least we don't wear suits and want all your money, right? And to a certain extent, I can support you in that, even if that fact that I have a marginal expendable income means it is just easier for me to do the dance that Sony, MS and every other big bad corporation wants to dance with me, wherein I give them money for products I want and then enjoy those without them slapping my wrists. (Granted you're kinda fucking that up because you make the hurdle higher and higher, but whatever, I'll let that pass.)

But to openly (at least as openly as your chickenshit coward tactics allow you to) threaten to "prank" the lives of real people who have done nothing but take the only reasonable actions they can when their devices are being compromised? To potentially strain the mental and marital lives of people for doing their fucking jobs? To give out information that could potentially push one lunatic with a gun to drastic and tragic action? That isn't harmless internet idiocy or cultural revolution; it is at best morally reprehensible, and at worst fucking evil. All for free fucking video games or the ability to upload Linux on your PS3.

Make your argument that Sony should roll over and allow consumers to do whatever they want with the products they bought without resorting to thuggish, pseudo-terrorist threats that don't push your agenda forward so much as allow you to look like a bigger man/woman/entity/dick-eating beehive than you really are. Until then, you deserve every nasty, dismissive thing anyone says about you. Because fuck you.

Posted by TooWalrus
Posted by SethPhotopoulos

I like the people that are mad at Alex because he is correct in saying that Anon's stupidity is inconveniencing the user and illegally pulling up Sony execs' personal information because they are entitled pricks.

Posted by masterherocard

In an age where the computer is an important part of daily life, anonymous could be a great group, one that could use their skill with computers and hacking to do some good for the world. They could probably do stuff that could go so far as to put real criminals behind bars, or maybe help thousands of people.
Yet here they are launching an all out attack on Sony because they were inconvenienced.

Posted by ch13696

Go get em Anonymous. Too bad for the people on PSN. I suggest you sit back and see how the attacks roll out.

Posted by Druminator
@ajamafalous said:
" Alex, please write every article for this site from now on.Thanks. "
Yes, please do.

I've been reading about everyone having issues but I've yet to come across any. Surely this won't end badly.
Posted by Whiskeyjack

This article is the only good thing to come out of the poo-slinging contest that is GeoHot vs Sony.

Posted by Bloodgraiv3


This pisses me off, "We don't support greedy companies" of all the companies to go after in the industry, Sony would be one of the least greedy major ones out there.

Fuck, why has no one bothered going after activisions millions, its not like Sony has bigger pressing issues now with Japan in the state it is, or with them still losing money on each console.

 

Posted by TeejIV
@SethPhotopoulos said:

" I like the people that are mad at Alex because he is correct in saying that Anon's stupidity is inconveniencing the user and illegally pulling up Sony execs' personal information because they are entitled pricks. "

I think it's more his tone than anything. I mean, I pretty much agree with Alex here, but I certainly wouldn't be linking anyone to this story to bolster my argument. It's needlessly condescending, considering that the facts alone would prove his point.
Posted by Rmack

When people stop paying attention to 4chan, it might actually go away. 


But nobody ever will. 
Posted by SethPhotopoulos
@TeejIV said:
" @SethPhotopoulos said:

" I like the people that are mad at Alex because he is correct in saying that Anon's stupidity is inconveniencing the user and illegally pulling up Sony execs' personal information because they are entitled pricks. "

I think it's more his tone than anything. I mean, I pretty much agree with Alex here, but I certainly wouldn't be linking anyone to this story to bolster my argument. It's needlessly condescending, considering that the facts alone would prove his point. "
Thing is (some would say sad, I wouldn't) thats how he would've talked about it in conversation and podcast form.  
Posted by ch13696
Posted by chickdigger802

Based off the turnabout for ps3 on TNT's. I don't think GB is affected by this much ;)

Cyber war. Fun stuff.

Posted by SethPhotopoulos
Posted by HubrisRanger
@SethPhotopoulos said:
" @ch13696 said:
" I suggest people actually read the interview with Anon.


As Alex fails to point out. There will be no harmful attacks on anyones family. Actually, there won't be any harmful attacks at all on anyone. So, I don't see any problems here.
"
So finding out private information on execs isn't illegal and morally questionable to say the least? "
Precisely. Once that information (addresses, phone numbers, IP) is available in a public forum, it is out of Anon's control of what people do with it. Hiding behind seemingly harmless free box pranks is a thin shield.
Posted by Spiritof

I'm wondering what percentage of Anon members got shot down by the pretty girl in high school, and/or given excessive wedgies by jocks? For some reason I see a group of really lonely dudes who didn't get enough hugs from their moms and dads growing up (or perhaps it's the opposite?).

Posted by Ronald

I love how hackers feel breaking the law is their right because they have the ability to do it. And if someone catches you and wants you punished it's their fault for catching you. I have the ability to go out and beat somebody to death. So, that's cool, right? Since I can do it I should be allowed to.

Posted by TheKing
@Konanda said:
"

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

"
Posted by alphanull

I love people spouting shit they don't understand and are butthurt because of some free service down time.

Get over yourselves, what is going on here is bigger than you and your couple games of Black Ops tonight.
Christ, people and their entitlement issues.

Posted by aurahack

This is ridiculous. Neither party is winning here. Both the hackers and Sony are just coming off as internet assholes. 


It's like an e-penis contest in court and it's fucking annoying.