AS SURE as night follows day, Internet hacktivist group Anonymous made good on its threats and started its campaign against Sony.
Earlier this week, Anonymous publicly called out Sony over its handling of Playstation hacker George Hotz, better known by his Internet handle geohot. At the time Anonymous didn't mention who or what it would be targeting, but some obvious and very public targets have already been hit.
Anonymous claims it has successfully carried out a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on Playstation.com, the Playstation store and the Playstation Network. However a hardcore splinter faction of Anonymous has also emerged with plans to go after Sony executives, employees and their families.
Previously Anonymous had focused on companies rather than individuals, although ACS Law's founder Andrew Crossley and HBGary Federal CEO Aaron Barr were personally tormented by the group. However the Anonymous offshoot calling itself Sony Recon is targeting not only high-ranking Sony employees but wants to gather information on their families.
One report claims that the Sony Recon group has published private details regarding Robert Wiesenthal, a group executive of Sony Corporation. It also claims that one Anonymous member asked, "No one found ANY info on Stringers kids?", referring to Sony CEO Howard Stringer.
Aside from Sony websites, the Anonymous also took down the website of the law firm handling Sony's Playstation jailbreaking lawsuit against Hotz.
Sony was not willing to say whether downtime on the Playstation Network was due to actions by Anonymous, simply providing The INQUIRER a boilerplate answer of "We are currently investigating issues with PlayStation Network, our engineers are working to restore and maintain the services, and we appreciate our customers' continued support."
Sony would not comment that Playstation.com had been knocked offline by Anonymous and whether it is taking any further precautions to protect its employees and their families.
Few will have much sympathy for Sony after its treatment of Hotz and its attempts to suppress publicly available information and those who want to view it. However, going after the families of Sony employees might be seen by some as going a step too far. µ