In a statement released to Venture Beat, Anonymous has said it wasn’t responsible for the recent attack on the PSN. The hacker group has previously stated that they would resist attacking services which impacted on consumers after a previous DDoS attack led to the network going down briefly and a widespread public backlash from annoyed gamers.
While we are a distributed and decentralized group. Our ‘leadership’ does not condone credit card theft. We are concerned with the erosion of privacy and fair use, the spread of corporate feudalism, the abuse of power and the justifications of executives and leaders who believe themselves immune personally and financially for the actions they undertake in the name of corporations and public office
So it seems that Anonymous would paint themselves as campaigners against corrupt capitalism and champions for civil liberties. That’s an image which is hardly congruent with stealing personal data and credit card information. They also stated that “If a legitimate and honest investigation into credit card theft is conducted, Anonymous will not be found liable” which seems to imply that they feel Sony’s recent statements to the House of Representatives might have unfairly pointed the finger at them.
It would seem highly unlikely that the core Anonymous group is responsible for the PSN-crippling attack and yet, a group which is “distributed and decentralized” will always have peripheral figures claiming affiliation and acting outside of the group’s stated aims. Those are the sort of risks you take when you form a group without any core leadership and allow your name to be used by all.
It’s likely that the file, named “Anonymous”, which Sony have stated that they found on their servers is an act of misdirection, subterfuge or tribute. Whether that stands up is a matter for history to decide but what is clear is that as much as anonymity can help Anonymous’ cause, it may prove difficult for them to deny involvement simply by virtue of the fact that anyone can claim membership.