If you stand in the same room as the thunder, you'd better be prepared to reap the whirlwind. It's kind of nearsighted.
Sony has just announced today that they are in the 'final stages of internal testing' to bring the PlayStation Network back online. We could see both PSN and Qriocity back up and running within the next couple of days. This sounds like great news. Unless these rumors of a third attack against Sony prove grounded.
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If a team of hackers are just waiting for the network to go back online before they attack it again, they could do untold damage to both the PlayStation brand..and Anonymous. Sony has already come out and blamed the attacks on Anonymous. They cite a 'calling card' left in their servers and a (possibly unrelated) DOS attack as evidence that the Internet activists were behind their many troubles.
Anonymous has disavowed all involvement in the heist. But that won't stop the swift hammer of "justice" for coming down on them if this whole disaster gets much worse. 77 million people have lost their private data. And, truthfully, Sony is at fault. Without their inexcusably lax security measures, none of this would have been possible. But those millions of users- and the governments that represent them, will want someone to pay.
The people actually responsible for this hack were likely a small group, perhaps as few as one or two hackers. They were extremely skilled and aware enough of current Internet events to use Anon's DOS attack as a springboard. As one member of a hacking forum put it,
"Anon is only a group of 13 year olds with LOIC, none of them could or would hack psn."
While the greater Anonymous community had no knowledge of this hack (many of them were probably victims, statistically) they still may pay for it. Government agencies all over the world are focused on this issue now. And while Sony is liable to take a lot of heat for their mistakes, the "guilty parties" are likely to see the greatest wrath visited upon them.
And, if the guilty parties are too well hidden for the FBI to find? Lawmakers and outraged citizens may just make due with venting their rage on Anonymous. They're an easy target. High visibility, well-studied and already feared by many people.
"...Anonymous is NOT a hacking group. It is simply an activism group. Only old people think Anonymous is composed of nothing but hackers."
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Unfortunately for Anonymous, those old people have a stack of subpoenas and plenty of jail cells at their disposal. If the real culprits aren't caught, Anon could be the whipping boy who suffers for this latest assault on privacy.