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Friday, May 6, 2011

Is Sony Regretting Going After GeoHot?

SONYFAIL

By: Kareem@techsual.com

Hmmm I wonder if Sony is regretting suing GeoHot yet? It is, after all the reason all this madness started. Had they just let things be, avoided getting ‘all legal’ and suing the poor guy, their network would still be up, no one would be complaining and everyone would be getting their game on.

So now Sony is adding to its apology basket, along with the free month of PlayStation Plus access users of PSN and Qriocity will be getting a free year of insurance to protect against identity theft. The policy will cover each user up to $1 Million and comes through an agreement Sony made with Debix, an identity protection company.

So how did all this happen?

First off GeoHot, as far as I know has managed to crack every firmware update Sony’s thrown at him, but it was the latest one that really set the company off. I guess they just had enough. Instead of doing what I would consider a smart move and hiring the young hacker, Sony decided to go after him all guns blazing and took GeoHot to court.

After a few months of both sides’ lawyers going at it GeoHot conceded and reached a settlement with Sony. As all this was going on a few hackers waving the Anonymous flag went ahead and decided they weren’t going to let Sony get away with this and proceeded to DDoS attack some of Sony’s site as well as PSN itself. After getting complaints from gamers that shutting down PSN service was only harming them, the hackers stopped, claiming that they were trying to hurt Sony and not the gamers.

A quick note on Anonymous: I find it pretty damn funny how people keep writing these article trying to explain who anonymous is and whatnot. I have never heard of any hacker who runs around explaining who they are to every one who hits them up in a chat room or forum, I hardly know any regular-non-hacker-people who willingly divulge that info to anyone who asked for it and honestly if you do your pretty na├»ve, there’s a lot of bad people out there that want to hustle you some way or another. On and off the internet. So with that said most people on the internet have the capability to be entirely anonymous at any time they choose, and if their willing to do a little homework they can get tools to scramble/proxy/hide their IP addresses, MAC ID or any other traceable information. Not to mention theirs plenty of publicly available internet connected computers out there, you don’t always have to be at home to connect to the web. Tracing an idea or movement like anonymous is pointless, there is no end to it, your pretty much fighting a never ending supply of people who believe in something much bigger than a group, its an idea and a concept that what anonymous is. Shure there are websites that take the name but that’s no different than a huge website that’s ran by say, a hardcore group of UFC fans. You might be able to catch the guy who started it, maybe his whole crew, but by the time you try and shut it down one of it’s users, someone who believed in the cause of the page would re-make it. Only this time he’d know he’d have to be more security conscious and make himself harder to find. The only thing your doing is creating generations that are learning from their past mistakes. Every attacking the endless supply of writers, programmers, designers, law enforcement, government workers, soldiers, etc.. etc... etc.. will not stop the idea of anonymity. Plus then you'd have to go through all the trouble of eliminating a word out of multiple languages and that would take probably a couple hundred years, not worth it. Then again America does have a history of liking war:

 

Anyway where was I? Oh yea, so after Anonymous stopped attacking PSN, everything calmed down, at least for a couple of weeks. On April 21st someone hacked into Sony’s San Diego data center and stole tons and tons of people’s information. Which caused the company to shut down their PSN and Qriocity networks in order to halt the attack. Sony then went ahead and got a security company to come in and do an audit which ended up looking not so good for Sony. Apparently they had quite a few holes to fix as PSN has been down since the attack and there is no real word or guarantee on when it will be back (should be this weekend though, it looks like they got everything fixed and there just getting it all updated)

Sony is claiming that over 100 million people’s names, logon information, addresses, credit card numbers and other private information was compromised in the attack. They are also blaming anonymous for the attack which, if you read the above note on anonymous should seem as stupid to you as it does to me.

I see it as one of two things happened:

1. Since the credit card information hasn’t been used, and I don’t see any way whoever has them could use them without getting caught. I think someone did this just to prove a point, and I think they worked for Sony. Not only did Sony do a full security software upgrade they also moved the entire data center to a new location ahead of when they planned. I don’t see why they would go that extra step to move the center unless there was a physical breach.

2. Someone is using the current celebrity of being anonymous and ummm anonymously committing a crime (which, really, who the hell runs around shouting their name and address while their say robbing a bank or selling crack or whatever), they have the credit card numbers but either haven't decrypted them or their waiting for the opportunity to use them anonymously.

Whatever the reason this was done, there is no question that had Sony backed off of GeoHot and the rest of the PlayStation homebrew crew, none of this would have happened.

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