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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.

Hotz, who settled with Sony, has also said he had nothing to do with the network attacks.

"I'm not crazy, and would prefer to not have the FBI knocking on my door," Hotz said in an April 28 blog post. "Hacking into someone else's server and stealing databases of user info is not cool. You make the hacking community look bad, even if it is aimed at douches like Sony."

But Hotz also said Sony had essentially reaped the whirlwind.

"The fault lies with the executives who declared a war on hackers, laughed at the idea of people penetrating the fortress that once was Sony, whined incessantly about piracy, and kept hiring more lawyers when they really needed to hire good security experts," said Hotz. "Alienating the hacker community is not a good idea."

It would obviously be in Anonymous' interest to deny responsibility for the credit card theft. Sony contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) three days after it discovered the intrusion, and five days later met with the agency to provide details of the attack.

The FBI, along with law enforcement authorities in other countries, have been pursuing Anonymous since last year, when the group targeted a large number of Web sites -- including those for Amazon, PayPal, MasterCard and Visa -- for withdrawing services from Wikileaks, the document leaking organization that began publishing U.S. diplomatic cables in November 2010.

In December 2010 and January 2011, the FBI seized hardware from several U.S. Internet service providers, then executed dozens of search warrants in its search for Anonymous.

Sony took its PlayStation Network offline on April 20. As of today, that network, as well as the Online Entertainment network, was not operational.

The company told Congress on Tuesday that it had not identified the people who broke into its servers and lifted the personal information -- and possibly credit card numbers, as well -- of millions of customers.


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