The timing of the threats from the hacktivist group Anonymous and the attack on the Playstation Network seem to conveniently suggest their responsibility. Even worse, a file was discovered on one of the Sony Online Entertainment servers named Anonymous and bared the cryptic phrase “We are Legion”.
However, the group is distancing itself from the attack claiming that this was not their work and they will not be found responsible for any theft of credit card details. Anonymous sent a letter to the U.S. Congress yesterday following Sony’s report on the file found on their servers. The letter (which can be read HERE) stresses their lack of motivation to steal credit card information.
“Whoever did perform the credit card theft did so contrary to the ‘modus operandi’ and intentions of Anonymous. Public support is not gained by stealing credit card info and personal identities, we are trying to fight criminal activities by corporations and governments, not steal credit cards.”
In a separate statement, they again deny any responsibility for the attack but admit that they are a decentralized group and so this could be the work of a rogue ‘member’:
“If a legitimate and honest investigation into credit card theft is conducted, Anonymous will not be found liable.” They continue, “While we are a distributed and decentralized group. Our ‘leadership’ does not condone credit card theft. We are concerned with the erosion of privacy and fair use, the spread of corporate feudalism, the abuse of power and the justifications of executives and leaders who believe themselves immune personally and financially for the actions the undertake in the name of corporations and public office.”
This supports their original statement, made 48 hours after the attack, where they stated:
“Whilst it could be the case that other Anons [Anonymous members] may have acted by themselves, AnonOps was not related to this incident, and does not take responsibility for whatever has happened.”
It’s true that the group, who is trying to gain public support, would not attain any fans from stealing credit card information. However, the problem with finding out who is really at fault is that Anonymous is, as they say, a decentralized group with no badge of membership or sign up process. Anybody can commit a crime claiming to be associated with the group. However, Sony and the FBI will be working to find whoever is responsible, whether they have any connection to Anonymous or not.