If you’re a PS3 owner experiencing slow service on the console’s PlayStation Network–or no service at all–then you could be caught up in a feud between Sony and the internet hacker gang known as Anonymous. (Should Customers Have The Right To “Hack” Their Consoles?)
“Anonymous” has targeted Sony because of its legal action against hacker George “GeoHot” Hotz, the man who broke open the PS3’s proprietary protections. Hacks like GeoHot’s let users run software other than what’s been officially sanctioned, letting them install operating systems like Linux to the game console. Sony’s aggressive courtroom tactics–like going after the IP addresses of people who’ve visited GeoHot’s website–drew the ire of Anonymous. In retaliation, the borg-like group has announced that they’d target official Sony websites and the Playstation Network. Sony.com went down for part of the day and some dysfunction and outages were reported with the PS3 online service. The official word from Sony was PSN was undergoing “sporadic maintenance”. (Sony Can Collect IP Addresses of PS3 Hacker’s Site Visitors)
Following that, an Anonymous splinter group called SonyRecon now aims to collect personal information of Sony employees. According to PlayStation Lifestyle, they’ve gotten personal information on exec Robert Wiesenthal, including marital status and address.
Sony’s not the only corporation that Anonymous had sought reprisals against, either. Last year’s anti-anti-piracy initiative Operation Payback set its sights on web destinations for MasterCard, Visa, RIAA, MPAA and the US Copyright Office, shutting down many of their sites. More recently, they attacked businesses sites owned by Charles and David Koch, the wealthy businessmen who funnel cash into Tea Party and libertarian causes. (Charles and David Koch – The 2011 TIME 100 Poll)
What effect this will have on the legal drama between GeoHot and Sony remains to be seen, but these operations seem to be more about bolstering Anonymous’ reputations as internet bogeymen.