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May 5, 2011

Sony reveals hacker left an “Anonymous” note on SOE servers

by Darren Allan

Sony has posted up more information on the official PlayStation blog regarding the hack of PSN and SOE which took place just over two weeks ago.

These were answers given to a Congressional subcommittee by Kazuo Hirai, Chairman of the Board of Directors of SCEA.

Sony said it had been the “victim of a very carefully planned, very professional, highly sophisticated criminal cyber attack.”

Moreover, the company also stated that it found a file on the SOE servers which was called “Anonymous”, and contained the simple message: “We are legion” (part of the online activist group’s slogan).

Anonymous has always denied it was responsible for this hack, although it did initiate a denial of service attack last month – this is the group’s chosen method of disruption, not full-scale hacking.

A report on C-net notes that Hirai certainly didn’t pin the blame on Anonymous, saying that Sony still doesn’t know who was responsible. He did, however, state that the denial of service attacks helped the hacker pull off the major intrusion, and whether that was by design or not, Anonymous had aided the thief.

Anyone could have left the file to pin the blame on Anon, of course. Or it could have been a splinter group of activists acting outside of the main organisers of the loose collective. Everything is still pretty much guessing at this point.

Sony also made reassuring noises on the credit card front: “As of today, the major credit card companies have not reported any fraudulent transactions that they believe are the direct result of this cyber attack.”

Meanwhile many of the comments on the PS blog are PS3 owners grinding their teeth, having heard enough talk now, and just wanting PSN back online.

The security will have to be sorted first, however, and sorted properly for the good of everyone. Sony has painted something of a target on its back, so woe betide any shortfall in security measures and another hacking incident after this whole mess.

The official word is that Sony is “working around the clock to have some PlayStation Network services restored” (as it has been for the past fortnight), and an ETA will be provided soon.

The hope was that the network would be back up this week, although it isn’t looking certain that this will be the case from where we’re standing.

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