Sony Becomes Latest Operation Payback Attack Target

Monday, April 04, 2011

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UPDATE:  An article in CIO states:"It get worse: An even more militantly anti-Sony Anonymous offshoot calling itself "SonyRecon" says it's targeting Sony individuals, unearthing employee personal details, then posting them in public spaces. Some may even be sleuthing for information about employees' children: At one point, a hacker complained "No one found ANY info on Stringers [sic] kids" (in reference to Howard Stringer, president and CEO of Sony Corporation). That's more than disturbing, it's reprehensible--a clear example of how not to win friends and influence others, and how to undermine your argument by engaging in depravity..."

The rogue hacktivist movement known as Anonymous has now turned its anti-copyright campaign Operation Payback against the Sony Corporation.

The distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, dubbed "OpSony", began in earnest over the weekend targeting Sony's www.sonypictures.co.uk website.

The Anonymous press release announcing the attack indicated it is in retaliation for recent "legal actions against fellow Internet citizens GeoHot and Graf_Chokolo."

George "Geohot" Hotz is responsible for the successful and well publicized "jailbreak" of Sony's PlayStation3, and his attorneys last week filed motions to dismiss the Sony lawsuit altogether.

Operation Payback was initially launched to protest the entertainment industry's attempts to clamp down on illegal file-sharing largely conducted through P2P (person to person) networks.

The operation comes just one week after a similar attack was launched against the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which is seeking trillions of dollars in damages from the P2P file-sharing network LimeWire for facilitating copyright infractions.

The Anonymous press release states:

"You have abused the judicial system in an attempt to censor information about how your products work. You have victimized your own customers merely for possessing and sharing  information, and continue to target those who seek this information. In doing so you have violated the privacy of thousands of innocent people who only sought the free distribution of information. Your suppression of this information is motivated by corporate greed and the desire for complete control over the actions of individuals who purchase and use your products, at least when those actions threaten to undermine the corrupt stranglehold you seek to maintain over copywrong, oops, 'copyright'."

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The press release goes on to state:

"Your corrupt business practices are indicative of a corporate philosophy that would deny consumers the right to use products they have paid for, and rightfully own, in the manner of their choosing. Perhaps you should alert your customers to the fact that they are apparently only renting your products? In light of this assault on both rights and free expression, Anonymous, the notoriously handsome rulers of the internet, would like to inform you that you have only been 'renting' your web domains. Having trodden upon Anonymous' rights, you must now be trodden on."

Anonymous employs a downloadable tool called the Low Orbit Ion Cannon that is made available to those who want to participate in a DDoS attack.

The success of an attack largely depends on the operation organizer's ability to publicize and gain crowd-sourced participation for the attack "hive". Operations that do not attract enough participants fail to take the targeted website off-line.

At the time of this article's publication, it appears as if the OpSony attack has been unsuccessful in taking down the targeted website.

 

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