HACKED GAMING VENDOR Sony has made the excuse that Anonymous distracted it as it struggles to explain the attack that compromised around 100 million of its customers' data.
Having reacted slowly to the outage at first, Sony now barely lets a day go by without teasing out a bit more information about what it knows, what it doesn't know, what hasn't happened and what might happen, and what it is trying to do about it.
The firm's latest revelation is that it has found evidence of an Anonymous attack on its servers.
In a letter of response to the US House of Representatives that was sent in lieu of a personal appearance, Kazuo Hirai, chairman of the board of directors at Sony Computer Entertainment America said that the firm was the victim of a very professional and very carefully planned criminal cyber attack.
He added that Sony had discovered a file on its systems which bore the name Anonymous, as well as snippets of text including "We are legion", a phrase commonly associated with the group.
The letter added that the attack was timely, it said 'perhaps by design', because its security teams were dealing with the denial of service attacks launched in support of Geohot, and suggested that the earlier attacks were something of a smokescreen.
Although it attacked Sony in support of George Hotz as he faced a Sony lawsuit, Anonymous has denied involvement in the data theft, but since it is a loose collection of individuals with a common ideology it is reasonable to suggest that the hacking attack might have involved someone, or a group of people, associated with it.
Anonymous has denied involvement in the data theft, however, and always has. Responding to Hirai's statement Anonymous, or at least some part of it, released its own comment. "If a legitimate and honest investigation into credit card theft is conducted," it said, "Anonymous will not be found liable."
Sony has promised to keep its online gaming systems offline until it has completely fixed its security. It might be some time. µ