Offshoot Anonymous group targets Sony employees’ info

6 Apr 2011

An offshoot of the loose hacktivist collective Anonymous is reportedly trying to get personal information of certain Sony employees to combat its legal action against PS3 jailbreaking.

Anonymous recently undertook distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against Sony PlayStation websites and its online store in a move to condemn the electronic company’s legal action against PlayStation 3 hackers. The group dubbed this campaign “OpSony.” These sites were intermittently down yesterday.

However, PlayStation Lifestyle found out certain participants in the operation wanted to take things further. Calling the offshoot campaign “SonyRecon,” they aimed to gather personal information on “useful targets” and started by asking to find the phone number of Sony’s CEO Howard Stringer.

Since then, the splinter group has reportedly uncovered certain Sony employees’ family records and personal details. For example, group executive at Sony Robert S Wisenthal’s family history was found, which included his marital status, age, address, education background and whether or not he has children.

Suggestions for what to do with the information include calling certain Sony employees through Skype and placing an ad using these details on the “free stuff” and “erotic services” sections of classifieds website Craigslist.

The loose nature of Anonymous means no one is in charge and anyone can make suggestions as to what should be done for particular operations.

While SonyRecon may be a splinter group from the original OpSony campaign, the fact it has managed to gain this much personal information on Sony employees means it has gained some support.

Sony lawsuit

The campaign against Sony was due to legal action the company took against PS3 jailbreakers, including George Hotz.

These jailbreakers discovered a protected number used to verify software for the console. Using this, people can load unofficial software onto their PS3 consoles.

Sony filed a lawsuit against them as it feared this information would be used to run pirated games. The hackers said they opposed piracy and did this to bring “OtherOS” back, which allowed people to load other operating systems onto the console.

Anonymous opposed Sony’s lawsuit, believing that by not allowing people to hack into their own hardware, they were infringing on people’s private property rights.