Anonymous, the hacker group responsible for recent online attacks against PayPal and Amazon, announced its intention to attack Sony websites in retaliation for the company's legal actions against PlayStation 3 hackers.
In a statement published on open-posting site AnonNews.org, the group calls Sony Computer Entertainment America's lawsuits against George "GeoHot" Hotz and Alexander "Graf_Chokolo" Egorenkov, who spearheaded PS3 hacking efforts, "an unforgivable offense against free speech and internet freedom".
SCEA has aggressively pursued legal action against Hotz ever since December, when he publicly released details on an exploit that circumvents PS3 security protections and enables system owners to run unauthorized code, including pirated games.
Anonymous also accuses Sony of abusing the judicial system to censor information (e.g. details on PS3 exploits) about how their products work, victimizing their customers for possessing and sharing that information, and targeting those who seek that information.
The collective writes, "Your corrupt business practices are indicative of a corporate philosophy that would deny consumers the right to use products they have paid for, and rightfully own, in the manner of their choosing. Perhaps you should alert your customers to the fact that they are apparently only renting your products?"
"In light of this assault on both rights and free expression, Anonymous, the notoriously handsome rulers of the internet, would like to inform you that you have only been 'renting' your web domains. Having trodden upon Anonymous' rights, you must now be trodden on," the posting continues.
Anonymous reasons that because Sony purchased web domains, the promised attacks against those domains constitute as attacks on their private property and are a fitting punishment. The hacker group offered no information on when or how its attacks would occur.
Organizers behind the threats imply that they have spun off Operation Payback, a campaign to launch DDoS attacks against the websites of anti-piracy groups, law firms, and, more recently, companies acting against WikiLeaks' interests, such as MasterCard and Visa.
[UPDATE: A report by PlayStation Lifestyle suggests that hackers from the group are attempting to collect personal information about Sony employees for fraudulent activity.]