Anonymous Bring Down Sony, PSN

Looks like earlier claims from collective Anonymous have come to fruition – several major Sony sites are currently down (looks like a DDoS attack) and the PSN has been, well, intermittent recently.

Sony.com and PlayStation.com look like the worse hit, but other sites are apparently targeted.

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Sony’s statement regarding the PSN – that it’s “currently undergoing sporadic maintenance” and “access to the PSN may be interrupted throughout the day” seems a little disingenuous, but we’ll wait and see what happens.

Thanks, PlayStation Lifestyle.

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167 Comments

  1. What? I thought they were a politically motivated group?

    • Why Sony too? Why not Xbox or Nintendo?

      • They stated that they’ve done it as a response to their treatment of George hotz. Crazy madness. It does indeed smell like war!

      • They say it’s because of Sony’s case against Geohot.

      • Oh my God, what punks, although they are potentially as dangerous as terrorists

      • It’s exactly what terrorists do.

      • wat?

        Its not really any different to walking into a bank, shop in London & organising a sit-in protest.

        All they are doing is making a protest about a couple of things, one is a perceived abuse of the judicial system, secondly they’re very concerned about the permanent ramifications of outcome of the case.

      • While unfortunately, it’s not legally seen as a protest, it is a perfect analogy. They’re effectively blocking entrance to a service provider they disagree with.

      • if you made something cc_star & hackers started to change it & make you lose money you would soon change your tune.

      • A sit-in protest, wtf? Yeah right, comparing an attack that disrupts the access of millions of users all around the world to a service they love to use is sure getting home the message of “freedom” all right. It’s totally the same thing as a legitimate protest. What the fuck are you smoking?

      • You’re confusing hackers with pirates

        Piracy is bad for everyone with an interest in what is being pirated (especially end users)

        Hacking is bad for no one and its positives are limitless

        There is of course the problem that when something is hacked, pirates don’t have to jump through hoops. Perhaps if Sony had opened up more system resources to hackers (to OtherOS or for an approved indie dev process such as Net Yaroze on the PS1 or Yabasic on the PS2 of Microsoft XNA for the 360) they could have maintained control and kept the pirates at bay. Therefore everyone wins

      • @metamorph

        They’re pinging a server which results in a business not able to carry out its business operations and results in customers not able to gain goods or services from that business. 10’s or 100’s of morons sit a shop and prevent a business from carrying out its business and its customers from gaining goods or services from that business. You’d have to be smoking strong stuff to not recognise they’re essentially the same.

      • cc_star, this is NOT like a sit-in protest. Many people confuses this kind of action with civil disobedience. But what is different is that in civil disobedience those taking action are ready for and want to take the consequences of their action.

        They want the police to come to their sit-in and they want media coverage because they believe that this will change the system. The sit-in is not the goal, it is a means to get attention in order to further an agenda. Sometimes they even want to go to court since that could eventually change the laws.

        But what “Anonymous” is doing now is just a coordinated denial of service attack. They do not front with who they are and they neither wish to be known nor take the debate into the public. They are happy to wreck havoc from behind their keyboard.

      • What he said ^^^^^

      • Havoc where as soon as they stop, service will be restored? Your language suggests that their actions will have permanent consequences for the service when they will not; by blocking peoples access to it, they’re forcing people to look into the reasons why it has been blocked, which is bringing the case to the attention of the public. It is exactly like a sit-in protest. They hide behind the name Anonymous to avoid unbalanced retribution for their simple actions from people with a skewed understanding of the situation.

        I don’t personally agree with the motives for the attack, but I understand the reasons and appreciate the level of protest they’ve taken up. It’d be interesting to know if the server they’re targeting is in California or Japan though :)

      • @Pete_UK: True, the service will restored since Sony need to restore it because we, the customers using PS3s, demand so.

        Still, it is not comparable with a sit-in as you say basically because of the anonymity and that there is very little risk of doing it. The reason to why civil disobedience is tolerated in a democratic society is because the protesters put themselves “at stake” to change something they believe is wrong. If someone cares that much about something, society as a whole usually takes time to listen to what they have to say. This doesn’t mean that the protesters automatically get their way, but at least they will have their voice.

        As for raising public awareness: many of us already know what Geohot has done and what Sony has sued him for. Those not familiar with what Geohot has done probably cares much more about reliable PSN service than that he made homebrew possible on the PS3. So either the public already knows or it doesn’t care.

        This is NOT about helping to raise the awareness of this case further. This is just about hurting Sony (and thus indirectly those customers who want to use PSN). And as I said, sit-ins are not the goal, but for these people DoS is kind of the goal, like giving Sony the finger and saying “we can hurt you too!”. Thinking that the DoS will affect the outcome of any legal process is naive. I think that the general population will rather side with Sony over a faceless bunch in this case. The rest of us that appreciate good hacks are in minority in this case. If they are looking for the public support they should stop doing things that makes the public irritated.

        I don’t agree with everything Sony has done (I strongly object to the removal of OtherOS although I do it for other reasons than “homebrew”), but I have yet to see a case where a DDoS attack is motivated.

        What is unbalanced retribution for a DDoS attack? And isn’t that type of attack itself unbalanced by definition?

    • The closest description I can think of for Anonymous is a human rights group. And seriously, this case will have some pretty huge ramifications for everyones ownership rights.

      I don’t why people feel the need to protect Sony, seriously, that’s what lobbyists and lawyers are for…

      • What’s the alternative? Protect these shameless wastes of talent who ultimately hinder my own enjoyment that I get out of the equipment I paid money for? They are not fighting for me. They are delusional hacks, no pun intended, who would rather make a name for themselves (for all the wrong reasons) than to put their talent and knowledge to good use. People want to jump all over Sony just because they are a corporation with a lot of money. SO THE HELL WHAT. They are a business, just like any other, and they will do what they need to to protect their IP, just like any other business, and you would do the exact same thing when potentially millions of dollars are at stake.

      • “They are a business, just like any other, and they will do what they need to to protect their IP”

        Well apparently, Anonymous are a human rights group, and they will do what they need to in order to protect peoples rights.

      • its more to do with respecting the PlayStation brand & not thinking hackers are some sort of hero because there not.

      • Why would you respect a corporation/brand? They don’t respect you, they’ll do whatever it takes to get your money. I’m not saying that Sony are any worse than any other company, it’s the nature of the beast, but that doesn’t mean you should respect them…

      • I give them my money because I like the product what are you talking about there no putting a gun to my head.

      • Not entirely sure how that’s relevant…

        I don’t have a gun to my head either, but I still think Sony are in the wrong.

      • then respect other peoples opinions when they do not see Sony in the wrong & are not on the hackers side I like my PlayStation & I like Sony products.

      • Not many people seem to understand the ramifications of this case.

        This case will probably decide whether people have the right to do what they want with their own property, or not.
        That’s pretty big.

        Copying content or code which is under copyright is and always will be wrong IMO (and obviously the law’s opinion)

        But running your own program on a box you’ve bought… I’m not so sure, it sounds alright to me. Why shouldn’t I be able to run a media player with support for more codecs, an advanced jukebox or any other multitude of things including playing a game someone has designed. I would even like the ability to back my games up to the HDD so as to play them without swapping discs although I’d happily concede on this one for the sake of system & content security, but overall the ever-increasing groups opposed to Sony (which seems to be getting bigger and bigger with each passing month) do have something worth fighting for in the courts

        I just hope the outcome protects developer’s & publisher’s content, whilst enabling people to run legal programs, apps & games and certain freedoms with their own property.

      • So Sony doesn’t respect me because they’re a business? Dude, a business makes money, whats wrong with that. What do you suggest they do? Just work work work and ask nothing from anyone?

        The way I see it, Sony isn’t forcing me to buy anything and neither is any company. They’re working to make products that we will like and we choose to buy. Hell, I respect Sony because Sony makes stuff I like, whats wrong with that? And you want me to respect these stupid hackers because they’re a waste of talent trying to use something illegally and then get pissed and make me pay for it by not being able to access PSN? Yeah, ok.

      • @cc_star
        Its not so much a matter of being able to do what you want with your property as it is how it affects everyone else.

        Say you buy a cigarette, shouldn’t you be able to smoke that cigarette where ever you want, its your life? Well no because it also has harmful effects to those around you so some places the law prohibits you to smoke.

        Say you buy a car, shouldn’t you be able to drive that car however you want? If you wanted to go 100 mph down the road shouldn’t you? You’re only risking yourself, right? Well no, you’re also risking the lives of others so is illegal.

        Now in this case, you buy a PS3 so shouldn’t you be able to hack that PS3 and use it however you want? Is it only effecting you? Well not quite, because these hacks could also effect the value others get out of their PS3s. Even if he said his intentions were harmless, its still illegal just like you can’ bring a gun in an airport even if you promise you won’t use it.

      • @Seventy: Ah, only read the first 11 words of my post I see. I’m saying that a corporation isn’t in the position where it can’t afford to show respect to the customer. This doesn’t make Sony any worse than any other corporation, but it certainly means that they shouldn’t be looked up to.

        I’ll spell it out for people. Corporations have to make money or die. That means that they often get desperate and have to treat customers badly… or die.

        Now, if respect is earned and Sony is known to treat customers badly at times* (even out of necessity), do they really deserve respect?

        Note (*): Google ‘Sony rootkit’

      • *isn’t always in a position where it can

      • Fact of the matter is, sooner or later a company was going to take a case like this to court.
        And presumably win. We all agreed to the terms and conditions when we connected to the PSN, after all…

        Simply put, certain people’s arrogance and gimme more attitude is coming to roost.
        As for Anonymous being a human rights group?
        Here’s them putting porn on YouTube, and aiming the videos at kids with tags like ‘Jonas Brothers.’
        http://arstechnica.com/web/news/2009/05/4chan-ebaumsworld-carpet-bombing-youtube-with-porn-videos.ars
        Other ‘human rights’ actions involve hacking the Epilepsy foundations website for both the US and UK and posting images to trigger seizures. Or how about the stalking and harrassing of Californian teenager McKay Hatch, which apparently STILL hasn’t stopped, two years on. His crime? Owning a website AGAINST profanity.

        But most relevant would be their pro-piracy offensive called “Operation Payback.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Payback

        Still think they’re pro-human rights?

      • @Uhyve
        Nope, I read your whole post, though you probably only read the first 11 words of mine. So tell me, where is an instance where Sony has treated a customer badly?

        If you’re saying they treated Geohotz badly because he used something the way its not supposed to be used then you’re probably one of those people who hates the cops because they get you when you’re driving over the speed limit.

      • *used the PS3 in a potentially harmful way

      • @ Uhyve looked up to what its about liking what they have for sale & buying it if you do not like it then do not buy it simple.

      • @Seventy Lol, seriously, didn’t read my post all the way through again? I’ll repeat, Google ‘Sony rootkit’. In fact, let me:

        http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Sony+Rootkit&l=1

        @skibadee Oh, I did look at what they had for sale. I looked at the feature set, then they changed the product I bought after the fact.

      • @colmshan1990

        If you connect to the PSN, maybe yes, but not definitely – but even then the tickbox saying you’ve read & agree may not be defensible in law as it doesn’t actually prove you’ve read the T&C & implicitly agreed to them.

        Also it doesn’t protect Sony for machines which never go online (connect to the PSN at least) as no T&C are agreed to at all

        It all depends on the judge on the day – and then the appeal court judge & then the supreme court judge

        @Seventy_X_Seven
        Incomparable examples

        Me running a legal & non-copyright infringing program on my own legally acquired goods is not the same as driving at 100mph, smoking within x radius of anyone else or taking a gin to an airport. You may as well have said training a cow to jump over the moon for all the relevance they had or the sense they made. They’re all breaking the law just the same as making unauthorised copies of copyrighted content or code.

      • I’m in agreement with ccstar on the subject of right to use your playstation computer system however you wish – provided of course it’s not for piracy – and i think that although of course Sony have to protect their properties i’m not sure they’ve gone the right way about it.
        Also i’m thinking that the reason Sony want so desperately to have the case tried in California is that the courts there may be more favourable towards EULA’s, but i’m just guessing.
        Stunts like today’s won’t endear many psn users to their cause but a least it may serve to bring the case under more scrutiny.

      • The argument of “Nobody forced you to buy it” is moot. We agreed to the first ToS willingly, but we’ve been forced to agree to everyone since. Without access to the PSN you get no blu-ray support, you cant play any new games, no friends lists, no DLC, you cant even access the netflix, MLB & NHL sports apps that are independent of Sony. The ToS states I must stop using my PS3 if I don’t agree, what are people suppose to do, throw out their PS3s and sell their games? Selling your game is illegal, so even if you choose not to break one ToS, you need to break another to recoup your loses. Because hardly anyone can afford to throw their ps3 out, Sony is basically forcing people to agree, regardless if they actually agree. You either agree, your ps3 becomes a paperweight, or you break the law and sell your games so you can afford to buy the competitions brand. Don’t let fanboy love blind you into signing away your rights, nobody deserves to have personal liberties taken away from them because it’s profitable.

      • I can tell by your words, cc_star, that you are not a developer.

        You’re saying that modifying someone’s code isn’t a violation of copyright.

        This can be both right and wrong – let me clarify:
        Modifying it for your own personal use is perfectly fine, that’s what’s commonly known as “Fair Use”.

        However, re-distributing modified code (which I believe he did) or posting the means to modifying code, that -can- be against copyright.

        I’m the CEO of one of the largest vBulletin modification companies, and I can tell you that if someone posted a modified version of my product I would have my business partner file a DMCA notice against the site / administrator if we were unable to get them to remove our Intellectual Property from their website and cease distribution of it.

        I believe, from skimming over Wikipedia articles, that copyright law states that by default, you have the right to prevent distribution of means to alter your copyrighted computer program.

        You appear to be, either willfully or otherwise, ignorant to the fact that nobody in this thread nor Sony have tried to tell George Hotz what he can or cannot do with the hardware he purchased.

        I hope you are not willfully ignorant of the fact that there’s a difference between the hardware and the software.

        When you purchase a PS3, you do not purchase the system software – and even so, when we say “you purchased the software” what we ACTUALLY mean is “you purchased a licence to use the software”.

        In other words, if George Hotz or any other computer programmer were to create a OS that would run on the PS3 hardware (or indeed replace the PS3 system software with one of the Linux distros that ran on it) then they would not be in court at the moment.

        George Hotz is in court at the moment because the modifications and software he re-distributed is allegedly a breach of copyright (I happen to think it is, because of the above points I raised) and as far as I or anyone else can tell, it’s good for nothing more than circumventing copyright protections on software you licence (i.e. games you buy) and allowing cheating on the PlayStation Network.

        Please explain to me why you believe that Sony is in the wrong here.

        They are trying to protect their own Intellectual Property, which they make money off of, which they literally make a living from.

        Anyone trying to claim they are wrong from trying to protect their livelihood obviously have never created anything for themselves that have been put in a “stealable” position (such is the nature of digital goods, alas).

        Frankly, I expected more from a writer on a tech blog / news site.

      • Human Rights people need a kick in the knackers, it’s people like them that get pedos, rapists murderers etc a comfy life in or out of prison, Gehot or whoever they are, broke the law, and deserve to be punished.

        don’t defend a bunch of morons who harp on about human rights, when they only ever defend law breakers, where are our human rights, we deserve to live in a world where law breakers are punished not rewarded.

      • @Belazor: I believe Sony are suing Geohotz using the DMCA, he didn’t actually redistribute copyrighted code, or even release patches. He distributed a number, this number (Sony claims) is a DRM circumvention device and is therefore, an illegal number. The MPAA used the same argument regarding AACS, but as far as I know, nobody dared go to court over it.

        However, since I’m not a lawyer, I don’t particularly care about the law, I can about my idea of morality, and I understand that people may disagree with me. In my screwed up morality, when I pay for something, I own it. If they promise me a feature, I own whatever makes that feature possible. If those features are made possible through software, I own that software, sure I can’t redistribute it, but I feel like I should have just as much right to mess with it as I do with the hardware.

        You say that we don’t understand because we don’t own a company, but I say that you’re biased because you own a company.

      • @Uhyve – You didn’t purchase that software though. You purchased a licence to that software.

        And how does him owning a company make him biased? If anything it provides a more balanced view as he would’ve been on both sides whereas you would’ve been on just one.

      • @djhsecondnature:
        “You didn’t purchase that software though. You purchased a licence to that software.”
        In that case, I’m talking morally, not legally. That’s I said that people might disagree.

        “And how does him owning a company make him biased? If anything it provides a more balanced view as he would’ve been on both sides whereas you would’ve been on just one.”
        The same reason you don’t ask alcohol companies how to keep alcohol companies in check (though the UK recently has been), they’re too involved.

      • @Belazor
        Geohot didn’t charge for his CFW, or anything he distributed. And if its fair game for an individual to modify code for themselves why wouldn’t it be ok for that individual to post his own work, which is what geohot did, along with a set of numbers that allows others to do the same. If he’s guilty of anything its posting the key. Which is only a key, it still takes more to make CFW, it’s not like you type that key into the psn store and you get free games and CFW instantly. Jailbreaking is legal, so why would posting how to jailbreak be illegal. And if he’s so evidently guilty why wouldn’t Sony be willing to try him in New Jersey… the actual site of the crime. Why provid false serial numbers to the court? The first real problem with this is developers like yourselves that think they have the right to draw the line on this issue. If your so concerned about what might happen after a sale then don’t sell your product. Sony misused the BR licensing rights aren’t they as much of a criminal as Geohot?

      • and also
        in this thread nor Sony have tried to tell George Hotz what he can or cannot do with the hardware he purchased
        You are obviously obliviously to the ToS- the 20 min long ToS, Sony forces you to agree to that very clearly states what you can’t do to your PS3. Clearly stating any external moding accessories, or un-approved accessories such as controllers are forbidding. If you read it, it’s very clear that they want to manage hardware as well as software… as well as monitor what websites you visit. How does monitoring my web activity, a feat that needs a warrant in most countries, fit into a licensing agreement?

      • A lot of people are missing the point of Anonymous. It’s not a set group of people, it’s anyone.
        There is every chance that none of the people responsible for the porn on YouTube thing are involved in this.

      • Apparently Anon are going to carry out Dox attacks on Sony employees. Basically stealing their personal information and using it maliciously.

        Still consider them a ‘human rights group’?

  2. On what basis is this group of hackers in the right doing this? Yes they may be disgruntled with the GeoHotz incident but they are going about taking action in the most arse-up way. (making words up now ;) ) They could quite easily annoy plenty of gamers in this fashion and brutally attacking a large corporation isn’t the smartest move!

    • One could argue however that it is the only move left.

      • The last move for what? lol that is the whole bullshit side of this. They are angry because “one of their own” was called out for practicing illegal activity. It’s like when you took a toy as a child and then got mad because the toy was returned, in which you vowed revenge for your wrong doing.

      • Since when was hacking an illegal activity?

      • Also, Anonymous themselves aren’t the actual hackers.

        They’re just sticking it to the man because of how they view the man has chosen to go about their business.

      • @Uhyve – You are kidding right? A DDOS attack is illegal in the UK under the Police and Justice Act 2006. Whilst the US, there can be a serious federal crime under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. DDOS is a form of hacking/computer crime and is illegal.

      • @djhsecondnature: I was replying to this
        “They are angry because “one of their own” was called out for practicing illegal activity.”

        Just making the point that hacking isn’t always necessarily illegal and that Geohotz has not yet been found guilty of anything.

  3. My guess is that Sony just don’t want to give them any publicity, after all, it would be an admission that they were successful in their attacks.

  4. These days they seem to just find any excuse they can to bring someone down.

    • And most of the people effected are the public not the organization/company.

      • And by effecting the public you affect their business, which is not something businesses want to have fucked with

  5. Sigh anon has turned into a bunch of arrogant kids, who believes their word is the final judgement.

    This hurts the PS3 users more then it hurts Sony, so poorly played Anon.

  6. political justice, sod off! What a bunch of intelligent losers

  7. Sony.com looks fine to me.

    This is rather ridiculous. How is this supposed to help Geohotz? Whilst ideologically I think if you want people to take notice of you then often enough you’ll have to make some noise, this is only going to further hate of hackers and go in Sony’s favour in court, so I would think at least.

    • Geohot has no connection to Anonymous, why would it affect the court case in any way?

      The only thing I’m wondering, is if Sony would ever drop the charges. I mean, there’s no way they’ll make any money from the court case, yet if this DDoS goes on for a while, they’ll be making no money from digital purchases and people who bought PS+ subscriptions will be getting pissed.

      That’s all under the assumption that the PSN isn’t actually down for maintenance.

    • It is not specifically to help GeoHotz.

      GeoHotz has brought to light Sony’s unscrupulous use of the system to police the internet.

      When you have a group which fights for Freedom of Information and the Freedom of Speech and go against these you open yourself up for attacks

  8. Someone please take a gun, then in turn point it at each hackers head, and pull the trigger.

    • Sounds good to me!

    • Yeah good luck finding all the people that form Anonymous. Clue in the name there

  9. The only people I can think of who’d back Geohotz would be hackers & pirates. There’s a fair few of the latter, which explains why this is going anywhere.

    • Actually, anyone who is stringent in their support of the Freedom of Information and that the internet should be a free and open exchange of information, would back this on the principle of Sony’s actions going against this

      • Will you shut up with all this? Or are you going to justify putting porn on the internet where kids will find it as a freedom of information? Face it, even if some members of the group are morally upstanding global citizens a great portion of the group are immature self-important fools.

        The group seems to suffer the same problem as Wikileaks – though in certain ways what they do can be considered morally just they shoot themselves in the foot by taking a morally simplistic point of view and failing to practice what they preach. At least Julian Assange had the courage to put his face and name on what he believes in.

      • Are you seriously saying that all content on the Internet should be suitable for children? It’s not really the responsibility of the Internet to look out for peoples kids.

        Really, parents should be installing site blockers nowadays, or even go to the extreme of not allowing your kids on the Internet without supervision.

      • Did I say ALL content? No, I didn’t. Learn to read, and understand the meaning behind what is written, after reading a lot of your comments on here i would say it’s a skill that would serve you well.

      • Sorry, that might’ve come across as a bit harsh. You’re deliberately misconstruing what I said to suit your own views and I don’t like it.

      • I actually thought that’s what you were saying with:
        “Or are you going to justify putting porn on the internet where kids will find it as a freedom of information?”

  10. They’ve probably got bored as Wikileaks have run out of stuff to post, so they’re ‘backing up’ Geohot.

    • I believe Wikileaks are releasing the names of people who have tax havens in Zurich based banks next. Which could be hilarious if say, politicians who are consistently talking about cutting back and/or raising taxes have one… or Bono, that would also be awesome.

      • The Miliband brothers have just today been outed by the Telegraph for using many of the tax avoidance (tax saving) techniques they publicly denounced others for using.

      • That’s a shame, I know it was a long shot, but I was hoping for a clear choice in the next election. At least I know that I’ll never be voting for the Lib Dems ever…

      • @cc_star

        this is a tiny issue compared to how Tories are handing over public sector institutions to their corporate/smoking club buddies for profit (notably NHS & Prison Service). Health for profit anyone? Prisoners for profit anyone?….Morals anyone?

      • Hundreds of private companies have been making profit from the NHS for many, many years, as have companies like Serco & Group4 out of prisons – to pretend otherwise is to be blind to the facts.

        My comment was a reply to the above one about wikileaks catching politicians out, & whilst out of place for which I apologise it was at least fractionally related as a reply and not an entirely unrelated subjective view.

        I’d be more than happy to continue this debate in our General Chat forums, so as to keep the comments loosly on topic.

      • True dat son. Let’s just swallow the facts and move on.

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