Sony president Kazuo Hirai said in a letter sent to U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday that company security analysts had discovered two Anonymous calling cards within its hacked servers: the word “Anonymous,” and the phrase “We are Legion.” While Hirai stopped short of naming the group as the culprit, the implication was clear.
Anonymous has since summarily dismissed the notion that it was responsible for the cyber theft, offering another hypothesis: it’s being framed by the real thieves.
Anonymous intermediary and writer Barrett Brown posted a statement from the internet hacker congregation at Daily Kos. In the missive, the group vehemently denied new allegations that it was behind the PlayStation Network, Qriocity and Sony Online Entertainment cyber attack which compromised around 100 million users’ personal information, possibly including credit card numbers provided by a smaller yet still substantial number of customers.
From the official release:
Whoever broke into Sony’s servers to steal the credit card info and left a document blaming Anonymous clearly wanted Anonymous to be blamed for the most significant digital theft in history. No one who is actually associated with our movement would do something that would prompt a massive law enforcement response. On the other hand, a group of standard online thieves would have every reason to frame Anonymous in order to put law enforcement off the track. The framing of others for crimes has been a common practice throughout history.
The group was recently the focus of a cross-country criminal investigation for cyber attacks against credit card companies, resulting in the arrest of U.K. Anonymous members and the execution of 40 search warrants against alleged U.S. contributors.
“Operation Avenge Assange” targeted Mastercard, Visa and other credit card companies that wouldn’t process transactions related to Julian Assange for his role in hosting leaked secret U.S. cables at his site, WikiLeaks.
Despite the ongoing joint Sony/FBI investigation, Anonymous is unbowed.
“Anonymous will continue its work in support of transparency and individual liberty; our adversaries will continue their work in support of secrecy and control,” said the group. “The FBI will continue to investigate us for crimes of civil disobedience while continuing to ignore the crimes planned by major corporations with which they are in league.”
Just after news of the PSN outage was first released and before Sony revealed the massive scope of the online break-in to its customers, Anonymous issued a similar denial, saying “for once we didn’t do it.”
Hirai claimed during a press conference on Sunday that Sony hoped to have some PSN functionality restored by May 3rd, with a complete re-launch tentatively scheduled by the end of the month.
As of press time, the service is still disabled.