As many of you read this on your computer, your Playstation 3 lies dormant, useless, and a shell of its former self. That is to say, the Playstation Network is down.
That’s right, for the second time this month one of the largest gaming companies in the world has had its gaming network taken down by a group of hackers. Although it is currently unconfirmed whether or not they accept responisibilty for the outage, it is most likely the work of Anonymous.
Anonymous is a group of individuals with no definable leader which originated mostly on the image boards of 4chan. They pride themselves in believing in justice, freedom of speech and in being united; as shown by their slogan “We are anonymous. We are legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.”
Now you may ask, what do they have against Sony, bringers of joy and entertainment to millions? What could a group of internet vigilantes have against them, and what would prompt them to take down their Playstaion Network and their website, costing them huge amounts of money? Enter George Hotz, AKA Geohot.
Geohot is an American hacker, famous for hacking the iPhone so that it could be used on wireless networks other than AT&T. In 2009, he announced his plans to hack the Playstation 3, as many regarded it to be far more secure than the Xbox 360. Not long after that, on January 26th of 2010, Geohot released the details of a method of exploiting the PS3 to allow homebrew and Playstation 2 emulation.
Things got worse when in 2011, on January 2nd, he posted the Root Keys to Playstation 3, and Sony immediately forced him to remove them. They filed a temporary restraining order, and entered into a lawsuit. They also demanded, and were granted, the IP addresses of anyone that visited his website www.geohot.com
and they seized his PayPal account.
They proceeded to sue Geohot, and his blog about the lawsuit can be found here.
Actual photo of Geohot
This is where anonymous started to have a problem. On April 3rd, they attacked the Sony Corporation, crashing both their website and the entire Playstation Network. They issued a rather harrowing, though somewhat humorous message;
Congratulations, Sony. You now have now received the undivided attention of Anonymous. Your recent legal action against our follow hackers, Geohot and Graf_Chokolo, has not only alarmed us, it has been deemed wholly unforgivable.”
You have now abused the judicial system in an attempt to censor information on how your products work. You have victimised your own customers merely for possessing and sharing information, and continue to target every person who seeks this information. In doing so you have violated the privacy of thousands. This is the information they were willing to teach the world for free. The very same information you wish to suppress for sake of corporate greed and complete control of the users.
Now you will experience the wrath of Anonymous. You saw a hornets nest, and stuck your penises in it. You must face the consequences of your actions, Anonymous style.
Knowledge is Free. We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not Forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.
The Network only stayed down for about a day, and the website even less than that. Playstation 3 gamers urged Anonymous not to repeat the attack, as it was making them, the people Anonymous was trying to protect, suffer just as much. Anonymous released a statement saying they would find another method of attack. Sony also settled their lawsuit with Geohot out of court.
This would seem to suggest that this recent outage has nothing to do with anonymous, but as they operate independently without a leader, it could easily be a different group of people. You and I are just as much a member of anonymous as they are, all you have to do is call yourself one. That is what they see as the beauty behind the organisation.
Nonetheless, this is an unusual occurrence for such a large company, especially with Sony stating the outage could last for days. Whether it is a simple maintenance problem or digital terrorist vigilantes, we don’t know yet. However, you can rest assured, as soon as we find out, you’ll be the first to know.
Leave a comment on what you think of the situation. Should Anonymous back off, or are they just protecting our righ