In the latest half-baked scheme by hacktivist group Anonymous, Sony’s websites and the Playstation Network (PSN) have been targeted in retribution for the ongoing legal action against George “Geohot” Hotz for breaking the Playstation 3’s security. The websites, such as the Official Playstation Blog, and some of the PSN apparently went down last night for just a few hours.

I’ve got a few PS3-playing friends and I heard that the blog was just down for a couple hours. I haven’t heard from anyone who experienced trouble with the PSN, so feel free to chime in in the comments if you were having issues.

If you ask me, this is probably the dumbest move Anonymous has made so far. They’re pissed about Sony pursuing legal action against George Hotz for hacking the PS3, calling it an abuse of legal power, so they’re acting against Sony’s services. Maybe I missed some huge part of the Hotz case, but I haven’t seen any sort of dollar amount as a “We’re suing you for this,” just subpoenas seizing all of the hardware that he used to do it. This strikes me as Sony attempting to unravel what Hotz did to hack the PS3 so they can reverse engineer it and protect against future breaches.

You know what? I’m fine with that. The PS3 has been a secure console for longer than any system out there and legally I think Sony is well within their rights to do anything they can to keep it that way. I think they could’ve handled it better, maybe by hiring Hotz and getting him to help make the console more secure, but I’m not Sony and I don’t get to make those decisions.

Anonymous just picked up this torch that nobody was asking them to take and decided that Sony was the enemy. Then, for their “justice” they decided to attack Sony’s websites and the PSN, all services that exist for the people. I read and enjoy the Official Playstation Blog almost daily and I love the articles they post. I’m a PS3 user and so are many of my friends, so when the PSN is down it doesn’t hurt Sony so much as it hurts the users. What did Anonymous really hope to accomplish with a few hours of downtime for services that people enjoy? It would be like crashing World of Warcraft to hurt Blizzard: You’re going to piss off the players way more than anyone else. Aren’t the people/players the ones you’re supposed to be supporting?

I normally support Anonymous’s hacktivist efforts. I think WikiLeaks was a pretty great cause, for instance. I just can’t get behind this one and I worry that their actions are becoming as bad or worse than those of the groups they’re fighting against.


UPDATE: This is a news update from Anonymous’s blog as of 4/8/11.

Anonymous is not attacking the PSN at this time. Sony’s official position is that the PSN is undergoing maintenance. We realize that targeting the PSN is not a good idea. We have therefore temporarily suspended our action, until a method is found that will not severely impact Sony customers.

Anonymous is on your side, standing up for your rights. We are not aiming to attack customers of Sony. This attack is aimed solely at Sony, and we will try our best to not affect the gamers, as this would defeat the purpose of our actions. If we did inconvenience users, please know that this was not our goal.

So basically, Anonymous itself agrees with my point of view that the attacks were a dumb idea. You reading, Reddit commenters attacking me with downvotes?