an editorial By: Vagabond "Tony" Carter
Sony’s PlayStation network was compromised late last month exposing the personal information of around 77 million users world wide. As has been reported both by myself and others, Sony kept the lid on this until they could get a handle on how the crime was perpetrated and how much damage was done. Recently another fact has emerged, placed into the network’s servers at the same time of the attack was a file named ‘Anonymous’ containing the plain-text “WE ARE LEGION”, tying the PlayStation network attack to other acts by persons using the Anonymous meme.
Why a meme?
Anonymous is not a centrally regulated group in any sense of the word, but rather a banner under which any person or group might choose to act. What began as a grassroots movement against organizations such as the church of Scientology has evolved into an internet meme such as those used by 4-chan and the like.
Who uses it?
Use of this meme is the ultimate in astroturfing ( giving the appearance that many are involved, when it may in truth be only one or a handful) . As such it’s users are typically individuals who feel they have been slighted, or in more public cases self declared “hacktivists”, whose actions are non the less still illegal. In the case of the PlayStation Network it appears to be centered on one user who felt they were ‘unfairly banned’ from the network.
Isn’t Anonymity a Shield?
One might think so, but anonymity only goes so far until someone in authority chooses to start keeping records. One of the tenets of the Anonymous meme provides that “leaderless we are invulnerable”. This is an error. As Anonymous users have no central leadership, the actions of one of them affects them all.
As evidence to this, other users of the meme have denied association , but the damage is done.
Stay tuned to Krypton Radio as this is a developing story!
Later it turned out a hacking group calling itself Lulz-Sec claimed responsibility, this broke them from the perceived protection of the Anon meme. Rule one of claiming Anon is you do not later unmask yourself for the fame of it , needless to say this has angered other users of the Anon meme. What comes of this, remains to be seen.