Anonymous to Sony: It wasn't us

BOSTON Thu May 5, 2011 4:29pm EDT

A boy chooses Sony's Playstation game software at an electronic shop in Tokyo May 5, 2011. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

A boy chooses Sony's Playstation game software at an electronic shop in Tokyo May 5, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon

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BOSTON (Reuters) - The Internet vigilante group Anonymous denied responsibility for a cyber-attack on Sony Corp's networks that exposed the personal data of more than 100 million video gamers.

"Let's be clear, we are legion, but it wasn't us. You are incompetent Sony," Anonymous said on its Blog ( on Thursday.

Anonymous is a grass-roots cyber-vigilante group that launched attacks in December that temporarily shut down the sites of MasterCard Inc and Visa Inc using simple software tools freely available over the Internet.

Sony spokesman Dan Race declined to comment on the latest Anonymous press release, citing an ongoing investigation.

The group's denial came a day after Sony charged Anonymous was indirectly responsible for the attack on the Japanese electronics giant's networks. Sony made the accusation in a letter to members of Congress conducting an inquiry into one of the largest computer breaches in history.

On Thursday, Anonymous began threatening a new target: Viacom Inc, the entertainment giant behind MTV's "Jersey Shore" and the hit film "Rango."

The group attacked Viacom for pulling its content from YouTube and suing the web-video site in a high-profile copyright infringement case dating back to 2006.

"Anonymous demands from Viacom a public press release to admit and apologize for the fraud and crimes that they have committed," the group said in a press release of its own.

A spokesperson for Viacom declined comment on the matter.


Sony said its video game network was hacked at the same time it was defending itself against a major denial-of-service attack by Anonymous. A denial-of-service attack makes a server or system unavailable by overwhelming its network with Internet traffic.

The attack that stole the personal data of millions of Sony customers was launched separately, right when the company was distracted protecting itself against the denial-of-service campaign, Sony said.

The company said it was not sure whether the organizers of the two attacks were working together.

Barrett Lyon, a security expert who specializes in helping companies defend themselves against denial-of-service attacks, believes Anonymous is at least indirectly responsible for the Sony hacking.

"At the very least they planted the seed that focused nefarious intention toward Sony," he said.

"It could have been something that the Anonymous group started, but really couldn't stop. They work like a lynch mob and it just takes one crazy person to keep going."

(Reporting by Jim Finkle; additional reporting by Yinka Adegoke; editing by Richard Chang and Andre Grenon)

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Comments (3)
finfollower wrote:
When you are under attack, don’t you normally heighten your defenses, not lower them? SONY was “distracted” by a Denial of Service attack and so a major breach in security wasn’t noticed? Security at SONY must be practically non-existant if they are so focused on getting money from thier gamers that they completly neglect security because someone is basically knocking on the door in an irritating manner. SONY’s explanations don’t wash, especially for a company of it’s size and breath.

May 06, 2011 7:40am EDT  --  Report as abuse
socratesfoot wrote:
“Barrett Lyon, a security expert who specializes in helping companies defend themselves against denial-of-service attacks”

Sounds like another Aaron Barr…can anyone can be a security expert these days? …since they obviously don’t have any sense or technical know how. A wise man once told me that locks keep honest people out. Let’s think about this, if I always forgot to lock my door, I tell everyone so and often leave it gaping open when I leave to work, then one day get in an argument with my neighbor and as a result run out of my home without locking the door again. I can’t blame the neighbor for contributing to the inevitable theft. It would have happened sooner or later anyway…Sony used old un-patched servers, no firewall, and an inferior server OS and was fully aware of the gaping security issues for quite a while, they published them on their blog. Just Stupid.

May 06, 2011 8:33am EDT  --  Report as abuse
LouannO wrote:
Just another big Japanese company that does not want to take responsibility for their actions (they are taking lessons from Toyota, and their government). Sticking their heads in the sand hoping it will all go away.

May 06, 2011 4:51pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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