As part of the attack, SonyRecon compiled as much information as they could about individual Sony employees, something we previously reported on. “The most important thing in any war is information. Knowing your opponent goes a long way. Today was about probing”. When asked about what the data included, Takai replied: “Information about a great many things. Political campaign contributions, floral bouquets, the location of certain key servers in their network.” All this has been compiled to create a intricate list of information regarding the employees. “As employees of Sony, they are considered legitimate targets of the operation” Takai explained, but conceded the ‘Dox’ were “primarily limited to those in positions of power and in very few cases their underlings”. Asked whether there was a limit to Anonymous’ actions, he clarified: “If you mean, would we endanger someone’s personal safety or that of their family. The answer is no. We’ve already made it clear in SonyRecon that pranks like bomb threats, or false fire alarms are considered out of bounds. That would impede emergency responders from dealing with actual emergencies and thus endanger people”. But continued: “We’re being more calculated than that 🙂 … If a few VP’s wake up to 20 boxes of KY jelly at their front door, it’ll be great for lulz”.
With the grinning face of Guy Fawkes as one of their unofficial logos, ‘lulz’ play a big part in the group’s decisions, and while the online community may have helped in taking down the Tunisian Government, they were also responsible for “YouTube P*rn Day”, where adult videos were uploaded to the site en masse. Here, ‘lulz’ have been responsible for a member leaving the song “Chocolate Rain” on the Judge in Sony’s case against George Hotz’s answering machine. With personal details of major Sony employees now uncovered, more is sure to follow.
Previous Anonymous attacks were focused on attacking the corporations themselves, with effort put in to ensure that consumers were not hurt (according to some news outlets, Amazon was spared a full attack due to the fact that customers would suffer). However, in OpSony, the PlayStation Network was brought down, meaning that gamers could not play online or use the network’s other services.
“The consumers in this are as one might call, collateral damage” said Takai, after being confronted, “we are very cognisant of the fact that we are not making friends nor allies among the average consumer with our attack. This is unfortunate as a concern should always be, will the very people we seek to support not see what it is we are trying to achieve. In this case, many don’t. There has been a lot of hate spread throughout the internet and over forums that we are being reckless and simply punishing consumers more than Sony.”
To the consumers I would say …
Before you judge us, take the time to understand us.
While not being able to use the PSN is rather inconvenient, many feared a far greater threat – with the PS Store possibly compromised, was our credit card info safe? He replied: “I think I can safely say this on behalf of everyone, we have no malicious intent towards Sony’s consumers.” We mentioned that due to the IRC’s anonymity, a malicious hacker could go along with the hack, and use the chaos to their advantage, but Takai countered: “Attacks on systems are done as part of a coordinated effort. Although the operation is open to all, as is ddosing. More detailed operational components are more controlled.”
When Anonymous declared war on Sony, their reasoning was clear – they were defending George Hotz and Graf_Chokolo, and seeking retribution. As a jailbroken PS3 owner, Takai talked about his, and the group’s, motives: “Sony needs to learn a lesson about life. You can push people only so far, eventually someone’s going to push back… Sony picks fights with kids whom they know to be incapable of defending themselves. We’re here to say, the defenseless, aren’t alone. Sony will not go trodding through the internet unchecked or unchallenged.” On a personal level, Takai expressed his belief in Open Source games, citing free titles like Angry Birds, but conceded that currently, high budget games might not be able to survive on that income stream after we contested the notion. He also agreed that developers deserve to be paid for their work, but did not focus on where the money would actually come from. Speaking about ‘rip-off’ DLC, he believes that boycotting products simply isn’t effective and that more drastic measures should be taken.
While Anonymous claim to stand up for the innocent and defenseless, it is sadly ironic that the average gamer is now left defenseless, unable to access their PlayStation Network accounts, and unable to play online – with our only defense being Sony and Prolexic. A huge number of Anonymous members are set to attack Prolexic and Sony later today, with the outcome of the PlayStation Network possibly hanging in the balance. While Takai is certainly confident in their success, Prolexic have managed to outfox them so far, meaning that it is hard to predict who will win.
Do you support Anonymous in their belief that we should have the right to tinker with our own devices, or do you think they have gone too far? Let us know in the comments below.