Collective isn't happy with Sony's aggressive legal attempts to
suppress PS3 jailbreak
Even as 21-year-old iPhone
hacker George "GeoHot" Hotz's
legal troubles with
Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC
(SCEA) continue, a collective of online hackers and
internet lovers has banded together to try to deliver a more
I. Anonymous Strikes Back
Anonymous, the loosely
organized (or some would argue
completely unorganized) group of hackers derived
from the image message board site
4Chan, has called out for its
lawsuit of GeoHot. They have posted an online threat
"warning" Sony that there would be consequences.
Writes the group:
Based on the
group's description and IRC chatter, it appears that members are
engaging in impromptu denial of service raids against Sony's online
properties. Many Anonymous members champion
distributed denial of service tools like
Orbit Ion Cannon (LOIC) that allow individuals to easily spam
websites with requests. If enough members participate in the
attack, even a small group can overwhelm a major site.
Greedy Motherf*ckers (sic) SONY,
Congratulations! You are now
receiving the attention of Anonymous. Your recent legal
actions against fellow internet citizens, GeoHot and
Graf_Chokolo have been deemed an unforgivable offense
against free speech and internet freedom, primary sources
of free lulz (and you know how we feel about lulz.)
You have abused the judicial
system in an attempt to censor information about how your
products work. You have victimized your own customers
merely for possessing and sharing information, and
continue to target those who seek this information. In
doing so you have violated the privacy of thousands of
innocent people who only sought the free distribution of
information. Your suppression of this information is
motivated by corporate greed and the desire for complete
control over the actions of individuals who purchase and
use your products, at least when those actions threaten to
undermine the corrupt stranglehold you seek to maintain
over copywrong, oops, "copyright".
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.
disagree with the disciplinary actions against your
private parts domains, then we trust you can also
understand our motivations for these actions. You own your
domains. You paid for them with your own money. Now
Anonymous is attacking your private property because we
disagree with your actions. And that seems, dare we say
it, "wrong." Sound familiar?
Let Anonymous teach you a few important lessons
that your mother forgot:
1. Don't do it to
someone else if you don't want it to be done to you.
2. Information is free.
3. We own this.
As for the "judges" and
complicit legal entities who have enabled these cowards: You are
no better than SONY itself in our eyes and remain guilty of
undermining the well-being of the populace and subverting your
We are Legion.
We do not Forget.
That said, some members reportedly use "dirtier" tactics, such as
employing attacks from botnets of infected machines.
Anonymous members also are rumored to have
attacks on members of organizations they are targeting.
DDoS attacks using a user's own machine are of questionable
legality. While not explicitly mentioned under U.S. computer
crime legislation, they likely fall under the auspice of an attack
on a business, something the
Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1984.
Anonymous had previously called on a boycott of SCEA
products, though many questioned how much effect the boycott by the
relatively small ~10,000 member collective would have.
II. Why the Fuss?
GeoHot back in January 2011 for
posting keys that would defeat Sony's copy protection
scheme. GeoHot had been brought onboard the onlocking project
fail0verflow, a group of German hackers,
as the jailbreak used a smart phone for part of the process.
The effort to jailbreak the PS3 was born out of Sony's
decision to ditch Linux support with the
release of the PS3 Slim in August 2009. It
is unclear why Sony made that decision given that the PS3 Slim was
more than capable of supporting a Linux install. Sony has
since locked "Fat" PS3s out of new installs of Linux, as well,
via a system update.
GeoHot has offered to stop distributing the keys if Sony provides
a means to install home brew and third party software on the
PlayStation 3. He has also offered to work as a consultant for
Sony or the other major console makers (Microsoft and Nintendo) in
safeguarding their next-generation consoles from jailbreaks.
Sony hasn't exactly responded warmly. Thanks an overly
permissive judge, it managed to subpoena Mr. Hotz's
Google; and the
addresses of visitors [PDF].
claims that it needs access to all of Mr. Hotz's personal accounts
to try to monitor if he profited off the release of the hack, some
Mr. Hotz denies having done.
Mr. Hotz's German colleagues
seemingly have it even worse. According to Mr. Hotz, at least
one of them had their home trashed by German police executing a search
warrant at the behest of Sony.
While the full jailbreak offers a
legitimate/semi-legitimate uses like homebrew and third party
operating systems, it also opens the door to darker pastures like
piracy and in-game cheating. GeoHot has stated that he does
not support such actions and that he exclusively executed the
jailbreak in support of the homebrew movement.
most famous for perpetually defeating the carrier and
application restrictions on Apple's iPhone.
"jailbreak" is a term that refers to removing protections against
running unauthorized software on an electronic device. This is
not to be confused with "unlocking" which refers to removing carrier
restrictions on smartphones (something GeoHot also participates
As we pointed out in our previous coverage, while,
received official endorsement to be
jailbroken, the Digital Millenium Copyright Act
seems to still outlaw jailbreaks on other devices, such as the PS3.
Ultimately, these seemingly contradictory stances may offer
the legal team of GeoHot grounds to challenge the legality of
enforcing some jailbreaking provisions, but not others.
Jason Mick (Daily Tech Blog
<www.dailytech.con/Anonymous+Engages+in+Sony+DDoS+Attacks+Over+GeoHot+PS3+Lawsuit/article21282.htm>) - April 4, 2011