Reports are surfacing that an unspecified group of hackers are planning a third assault on networks belonging to the Sony Corporation.
The attacks are rumored to be slated to begin this weekend, and are supposedly intended to be in retaliation for Sony's poor handling of the PlayStation Network and Online Entertainment Network breaches that occurred in April, exposing more than 100 million customer records.
Details are few, but CNet reports the following:
An observer of the Internet Relay Chat channel used by the hackers told CNET today that a third major attack is planned this weekend against Sony's Web site. The people involved plan to publicize all or some of the information they are able to copy from Sony's servers, which could include customer names, credit card numbers, and addresses, according to the source. The hackers claim they currently have access to some of Sony's servers.
Should the planned attack succeed, it would be the latest blow in a series of devastating security breaches of Sony's servers over the past month. The failure of Sony's server security has ignited investigations by the FBI, the Department of Justice, Congress, and the New York State Attorney General, a well as data security and privacy authorities in the U.K., Canada, and Taiwan.
It is unclear if the attackers are in any way connected to those who perpetrated the previous Sony attacks or if they are connected to the hacktivist group Anonymous, who Sony officials have suggested may have aided in the breach either directly or by distracting Sony technicians with a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack that took place in early April.
Sony has experienced extensive criticism for delays in reporting the customer data loss, as well as allegations of lax security measures that may have led to the breach.
Dr. Gene Spafford offered Congressional testimony on Wednesday that Sony was running outdated and obsolete software on the PlayStation and Online Entertainment Networks, leaving the systems extremely vulnerable to the kind of attack that subsequently led to the breach.
A third wave of attacks and subsequent disclosure of more confidential information from Sony would represent an unprecedented assault on corporate network systems.