Sony faces weekend hack attack, report claims

Sony could face another hack attack this weekend, according to reports.

Sony can't seem to catch a break these days when it comes to hack attacks.

Sony is still recovering from the recent network breach that shut down its PlayStation Network and Qriocity service and compromised millions of users' data, and there are already rumors that another attack is looming.

Now Sony faces another attack allegedly this weekend in retaliation for what many consider its poor handling of the previous attack. Chief among the hacker's beef with Sony, it's assumed, is the company's failure to inform Qriocity users of the situation until ten days after the breach.

Word of an impending attack comes from CNET that reports it has received an anonymous tip from an "observer of the Internet Relay Chat channel used by hackers." CNET reports people involved in the alleged attack plan to publicize some or all of the information they get their hands on, including customer names, credit card numbers, and addresses. The source also told CNET that the hackers claim to currently have access to some of Sony's servers.

If true, this will be the third attack against Sony's servers in just over a month. Several weeks ago, the "hacktivist" group Anonymous allegedly performed a series of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against Sony's website as punishment for the way the tech company persecuted George "Geohot" Hotz for hacking its PlayStation console.

A couple of weeks after that, a (reportedly separate) group of hackers breached Sony's PSN, Qriocity music service, and Sony Online network, and stole approximately 77 million users' data, including encrypted credit card numbers. Though Sony has implied that it believes Anonymous to be associated with the second attack, Anonymous insists that it is not responsible for the breach.

Now it seems that Sony should be preparing itself for another hack--this time from scorned PSN, Qriocity, and Sony Online network users. Apparently Sony's apology wasn't enough to make up for the fact that the company took over a week to disclose the breach to its customers.

Is it just me, or is this whole "fighting fire with fire" thing not working out? CNET suggests that the group of hackers planning this weekend's attack is the same group of hackers that originally infiltrated the PSN servers--in other words, that the hackers who hacked the network are annoyed with Sony's mishandling of their attack, so they're going to attack Sony again. Genius move there, guys. That's like me robbing a grocery store and then getting self-righteously pissed at the grocery store for having poor security.

Anyway, even if the rumor turns out to be false, I think it's safe to say that Sony should do its best to be prepared. Because, well, another attack is just the last thing it needs.

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Sarah Jacobsson Purewal

PC World (US online)
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