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Anonymous denies hacking Sony, stealing credit cards

Gregg Keizer | May 5, 2011
Sony reverses itself, now says hacker group at least assisted in breach.

The hacking group Anonymous has denied responsibility for the attack on Sony's networks, claiming that it has "never...engaged in credit card theft."

In a long statement posted to the Daily KOS site, the group said others were trying to frame it for the hack of Sony's PlayStation and Online Entertainment networks.

"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," said Anonymous. "No one who is actually associated with our movement would do something that would prompt a massive law enforcement response."

Although Sony declined to testify yesterday before a House subcommittee investigating data breaches, in its written response Tuesday to questions (download PDF) the company said Anonymous was at least partially responsible for the hacks because it had conducted denial-of-service (DoS) attacks against Sony in the weeks prior to the credit card hack.

"Whether those who participated in the in the denial of services attacks were conspirators or whether they were simply duped into providing cover for a very clever thief, we may never know," said Sony. "In any case, those who participated in the denial of service attacks should understand that -- whether they knew it or not -- they were aiding in a well planned, well executed, large-scale that left not only Sony a victim, but also Sony's many customers around the world."

Sony also said the credit card hackers had left a file named "Anonymous" on one of its servers. The file contained the words "We are legion," a trademark phrase of the group.

"Anonymous has never been known to have engaged in credit card theft," the group countered Wednesday.

Tuesday's accusations that Anonymous may have been involved was a reversal for Sony.

In a Tokyo press conference Monday, Kaz Hirai, CEO of Sony's games subsidiary, said the company had not found any link between Anonymous and the newest attacks.

Anonymous had denied responsibility for the Sony network breaches before. On April 22, it issued a statement titled, "For Once We Didn't Do It" that argued "Sony is taking advantage of Anonymous' previous ill-will toward the company to distract users from the fact that the [PlayStation Network] outage is actually an internal problem with the company's servers."

The group had taken credit for the DoS attacks against Sony two weeks before the April breach. Those attacks were launched as a protest of Sony's legal pursuit of George Hotz, who had hacked the PlayStation 3 to run Linux OS.

 

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