As a result of Sony's legal action against individuals like GeoHot, the online hacker group Anonymous has announced that it has targeted the PlayStation maker over what it believes is an abuse of the judicial system.
Coinciding with the announcement was word from the official PlayStation help and support Twitter account claiming, "PSN currently undergoing sporadic maintenance. Access to the PSN may be interrupted throughout the day. We apologize for any inconvenience." Whether or not that happens to be a coincidence, PlayStation.com and other sites under its domain name (including thePlayStation Blog) are currently unreachable. Sony.com, on the other hand, is fine.
After declaring that the attack is a result of Sony's litigation involving GeoHot, Anonymous'statement declares, "You have abused the judicial system in an attempt to censor information about how your products work. You have victimized your own customers merely for possessing and sharing information, and continue to target those who seek this information. In doing so you have violated the privacy of thousands of innocent people who only sought the free distribution of information. Your suppression of this information is motivated by corporate greed and the desire for complete control over the actions of individuals who purchase and use your products, at least when those actions threaten to undermine the corrupt stranglehold you seek to maintain over copywrong, oops, 'copyright.'
"Your corrupt business practices are indicative of a corporate philosophy that would deny consumers the right to use products they have paid for, and rightfully own, in the manner of their choosing. Perhaps you should alert your customers to the fact that they are apparently only renting your products? In light of this assault on both rights and free expression, Anonymous, the notoriously handsome rulers of the internet, would like to inform you that you have only been 'renting' your web domains. Having trodden upon Anonymous' rights, you must now be trodden on."
Sony is in the processing of suing George "GeoHot" Hotz, a 21-year-old hacker who uncovered (and subsequently shared online) the PlayStation 3's root key. The case has yet to go to trial, with Sony doing all it can to have the case tried in California despite Hotz residing in New Jersey. Sony hasalleged that Hotz fled to South America in order to avoid the courts and had sabotaged hard drives, claims that he has denied.
Anonymous has previously targeted the likes of anti-WikiLeaks organizations, anti-piracy groups, and more. This latest campaign against Sony appears to be a spin-off of Operation Payback, which was a retaliation against distributed denial of service attacks that were made on torrent websites. The FBI has been actively investigating the group since the United States Copyright Office wastaken down last year, if not earlier.
We've contacted Sony for comment on the situation and will report back if the company decides to make any announcements.