Online vigilante group Anonymous has denied being behind an attack that led to the theft of personal data from around 77 million PlayStation users. “Whoever broke into Sony’s servers to steal the credit card info and left a document blaming Anonymous clearly wanted Anonymous to be blamed for the most significant digital theft in history,” the statement read.
More than a million users have been affected by the security breach
Three suspected members of the Anonymous hacking group have been arrested in Spain.
The trio are said to have been involved in co-ordinating the group’s activity in that country.
The arrests were made simultaneously in three Spanish cities – Barcelona, Valencia and Almeria.
Anonymous has claimed responsibility for attacks on Sony, Spanish banks and co-ordinated action in defence of whistle-blowing site Wikileaks.
A statement from the Spanish national police force said that a computer seized in the home of one person it arrested was used in the hacks.
The arrests were the culmination of an investigation that began in October 2010.
It involved Spanish cyber police combing through millions of lines of chat logs to identify who was behind the group’s activities.
Some of the attacks made by Anonymous members used a web-based tool called Loic to bombard target sites with data. The websites of PayPal, Mastercard and Amazon were all targeted using this tool.
It seems that Loic did a poor job of hiding the identity of the people using it. It is believed that some police forces have already moved against the group based on this information.
Arrests have been made in the US, UK and Holland of Anonymous members, prior to the raids in Spain.
Anonymous grew out of the online picture sharing site 4Chan and describes itself as a group of concerned internet citizens.
As well as attacking sites that it perceives as not supporting Wikileaks. The loosely organised collective has also attacked government sites in Tunisia and Egypt to aid popular protest movements.
After publishing its statement regarding Sony, Anonymous also issued a warning to entertainment giant Viacom.
The group said that because of Viacom, “thousands of people have undergone the unfortunate experience of receiving falsely-claimed copyright infringements”.
Viacom is known for taking aggressive legal action to get its content removed from video sharing websites.
In 2007, the company attempted to sue YouTube for $1bn (£608m).
As part of its counter-action, YouTube’s parent company Google accused Viacom of uploading some videos itself and manipulating them to look like amateur copies.
The case against YouTube was eventually thrown out.
In its statement, Anonymous wrote: “Anonymous demands from Viacom a public press release to admit and apologise for the fraud and crimes that they have committed.
“Anonymous also demands that Viacom allows everyone throughout the internet full rights to be able to express themselves.
“Lastly, we, the citizens of the world, demand that Viacom stops their attempts to gather personally identifying information such as IPs, which are of no relevance to them.”
I doubt Viacom did this… it was merely Youtube’s hypothetical to convince the judge of Viacom’s own possibly suspicion because the argument became a matter of possibility. claiming the hypothetical as a truth is merely a tool. yes it is a lie, but that is the way the law works. sometimes it is merely to get a judge’s attention as to the concept.
Anonymous (used as a mass noun) is an Internet meme that originated in 2003 on the imageboard 4chan, representing the concept of many online community users simultaneously existing as an anarchic, digitized global brain. It is also generally considered to be a blanket term for members of certain Internet subcultures, a way to refer to the actions of people in an environment where their actual identities are not known.
In its early form, the concept has been adopted by a decentralized on-line community acting anonymously in a coordinated manner, usually toward a loosely self-agreed goal, and primarily focused on entertainment. Beginning with 2008, the Anonymous collective has become increasingly associated with collaborative, international hacktivism, undertaking protests and other actions, often with the goal of promoting internet freedom and freedom of speech. Actions credited to “Anonymous” are undertaken by unidentified individuals who apply the Anonymous label to themselves as attribution.
Although not necessarily tied to a single on-line entity, many websites are strongly associated with Anonymous. This includes notable imageboards such as 4chan, Futaba, their associated wikis, Encyclopædia Dramatica, and a number of forums. After a series of controversial, widely-publicized protests and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks by Anonymous in 2008, incidents linked to its cadre members have increased. In consideration of its capabilities, Anonymous has been posited by CNN to be one of the three major successors to WikiLeaks.
Anonymous isn’t truly an organization; not in any traditional sense. They are a large, decentralized group of individuals who share common interests and web haunts. There are no official members, guidelines, leaders, representatives or unifying principles. Rather, Anonymous is a word that identifies the millions of people, groups, and individuals on and off of the internet who, without disclosing their identities, express diverse opinions on many topics.
Being “Anonymous” is much more a quality or a self-definition than a membership. Each project under the Anonymous banner may have a whole different set of instigators. Leadership, when it exists, is informal and carried out in chat channels, forums, IM and public calls to action online. No one’s meeting in a board room.The name Anonymous itself is inspired by the perceived anonymity under which users post images and comments on the Internet. Usage of the term Anonymous in the sense of a shared identity began on imageboards.
Origin of AnonymousThey are loosely affiliated with 4chan and other smaller “chan” boards (like 7chan, 2chan and 711chan) due to these sites’ anonymous posting feature, which allows them to plan attacks without revealing any identifying information.A tag of Anonymous is assigned to visitors who leave comments without identifying the originator of the posted content. Users of imageboards sometimes jokingly acted as if Anonymous were a real person. As the popularity of imageboards increased, the idea of Anonymous as a collective of unnamed individuals became an internet meme.They coordinate raids on forums like 4chan.org and ICQ chat rooms, among other venues. 4chan.org is a major hub, but I wouldn’t call it Anonymous’ home. Anonops.net was as close to an HQ as they had, but it has been shut down.Some claim Anonymous to be the first internet-based superconsciousness. Anonymous is a group, in the sense that a flock of birds is a group. How do you know they’re a group? Because they’re travelling in the same direction. At any given moment, more birds could join, leave, peel off in another direction entirely.Anonymous doesn’t like to be called a ‘group’. And much less do its members like to be called ‘hackers’. They are, to use the manifesto’s excitable, sci-fi-tinged terminology, an “Online Living Consciousness”
Anonymous hierarchyThey have been described as a leaderless, anarchic group of “hacktivists” but inside Anonymous, some have found that the organization is more hierarchical – with a hidden cabal of around a dozen highly skilled hackers coordinating attacks across the web.
One member said the group’s “command and control” centers are invite-only, adding: “It’s to protect people, but if you have proven trustworthy you get invited – it’s not hard to do. It’s not some elitist structure but a way to keep the press and the odd bit of law enforcement seeing who issues commands.”
“Our project has no leader structure, only different roles. The degree of leadership and organization in the various projects various a lot,” one long-term insider explained. “It’s all very chaotic, but we communicate and co-operate with each other. I see us as different cells of the same organism.”
The leaders of the group use internet relay chat (IRC) technology, which can allow groups of people to communicate clandestinely. Some in the upper echelons are understood to have control over “botnets” comprising more than 1,000 Windows PCs that have been infected with a virus and can be controlled without the user’s knowledge to direct “distributed denial of service” (DDoS) attacks against target organizations.