PSN Hack Plot Thickens; Anonymous Veterans Allege Collective’s Involvement

Yesterday, Anonymous issued an unequivocal denial of any involvement in the PSN hack that led to the compromise of millions of PSN members’ personal data. As we said at the time, taking Sony’s post-hack actions – and the dirty tricks other entities have aimed at Anonymous in the past – into account, we’re inclined to give the civil liberties and transparency collective the benefit of the doubt.

However, earlier today two veteran Anonymous members (no word on whether they’re still involved) spoke separately to the Financial Times, and they both allege that despite official denials, it’s entirely possible that some or many Anonymous members are behind the data theft. But before it becomes conventional wisdom that Anonymous did it, it’s important to note precisely how these two phrased their allegations. One of the hackers, who goes by the nickname Kayl, said:

“If you say you are Anonymous, and do something as Anonymous, then Anonymous did it. Just because the rest of Anonymous might not agree with it, doesn’t mean Anonymous didn’t do it.”

Another hacker, unnamed but implied to be a currently participating member of Anonymous was a little more specific:

“The hacker that did this was supporting OpSony’s movements.”

Now, while sensational, neither Hacker claims to know more than anyone else at this point. We concede that of course Anonymous could have done it. Naturally, a decentralized organization might well have members who disregard the goals of the group, or act alone but under their banner. If true then Anonymous would do well to purge such people from the collective. But that isn’t the allegation being flung at Anonymous. Anonymous has been accused or orchestrating the hack, officially. They deny it and so far, no counter-organization also calling itself ‘Anonymous’ has claimed the credit.

Given that Anonymous’ entire raison d’être is to call attention to the misdeeds of their targets, specifically through the use of huge, publicity-hogging stunts for which they always claim credit, it begs the question of just why they haven’t claimed credit for what would be their greatest success, as online attacks go. It’s kind of a stretch to imagine that, as an organization, they’ve made the jump from hacktivism to RICO violations. The lack of anyone claiming credit is probably a good sign that the crime is opportunistic. The point was to nab the data and not get caught.

Or put more simply, it’s easier to rob a bank when the door’s been cracked by an Earthquake and the cops are too busy chasing down looters. As always, this story is far from over and we met yet learn that Anonymous is, as an organization, behind this whole thing. We’ll keep you updated when the next inevitable comment from either Sony or Anonymous occurs.

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