Hacker collective Anonymous says it has suspended its attacks on the PlayStation Network in an effort to avoid inconveniencing users, though it intends to continue its assault on Sony through other methods.
The group proclaimed its intentions earlier this week to punish Sony Computer Entertainment America for filing lawsuits against PS3 hackers George "GeoHot" Hotz and Alexander "Graf_Chokolo" Egorenkov, and for allegedly preventing consumers from using Sony products in the manner of their choosing (e.g. circumventing security measures and running unauthorized code on PS3s).
Anonymous then launched denial-of-service attacks against the company's sites, forums, and even PSN. The group announced a change in its strategy today: "Anonymous is not attacking the PSN at this time. 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."
Responded to the attacks in a statement yesterday, Sony said "We are currently investigating, including the possibility of targeted behavior of an outside party. If this is indeed caused by such an act, we want to once again thank our customers who have borne the brunt of the attack through interrupted service. Our engineers are working to restore and maintain the services."
"This attack is aimed solely at Sony," Anonymous adds, "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. ... That being said, our campaign against Sony and others that would trample on the idea of free information will continue, until we are satisfied with the outcome."
The hackers, who are operating under a unit called OpSony, though, warn that other segments of Anonymous, such as SonyRecon, could have differing beliefs and continue separate attacks due to the group's unstructured nature -- as evidenced by one member nicknamed Takai calling inconvenienced PSN users "collateral damage" yesterday.