Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Sony : We know who did it or ... do we?

Another official blog was just posted few minutes ago by Mr. Seybold providing an answer to to the U.S house of Representatives' questions. Apparently, Sony and their digital forensic team has found a file in their server that says "Anonymous - We are Legion". Few days after the PSN went down, the anonymous said that they are not at fault for causing this situation.

This confirms that Anonymous is the one at fault:

"We discovered that the intruders had planted a file on one of our Sony Online Entertainment servers named “Anonymous” with the words “We are Legion.”
- Patrick Seybold, Sr. Director, Corporate Communications & Social Media
The problem with this group of hackers is that they act without a leader. If they all agree on one idea, they will do it and nobody will point a finger(since each hacker does not know the other hacker)making it difficult for the authorities to catch its members. Also, one can become rouge and betray their operations because there is no one on top and on power to moderate the moderators.

The ones who disagree with the initial idea does their own thing carrying the same name - "Anonymous". It is probably those group who did this or someone pretending to be the "Anonymous". So, it is hard to tell who is lying or who is telling the truth. The fact is, they are all Anonymous.

Let's see how things happened since the beginning:
  • GeoHotz was brought to court
  • Anonymous showed up and declared war to Sony for teh lulz - they also posted a video in youtube
  • PSN was attacked for a short period of time as well as official Sony website
  • Gamers were furious about messing up with their PSN
  • Anonymous said that it will halt its action against PSN but will continue against other Sony websites
  • It was rumoured that the group has broken into two groups - the ones that they think should not disrupt the PSN and the ones that should
  • PSN was shutdown
  • Anonymous denied that they are the cause of the hacking but states that they will continue to disrupt services as soon as the PSN goes back live again.
  • Sony and their forensic team has found a file leading them back towards Anons and announces it to the public.
Sony is pointing its fingers to the anons. Soon the Playstation supporters will follow because they are butthurt. I hope this does not lead to hack wars.

Sony has no name or age or anything that identifies the hackers. It might take months or  years to find out the people behind the name anonymous. They have deleted logs in the server to cover their tracks. Digital forensics should be much more smarter than just looking at logs.

Update (1): Official response documents are now available in flicker.

In the official document it states :
"Detection was difficult because of sheer sophistication of the intrusion."
Indeed, hackers becomes much more smarter as years go by. They are more experienced and possibly with a higher education. What fascinates me the most is that Sony shut down only the server they suspect that was compromised hours later the hacking and while they were not aware about other servers being compromised as well. I have noticed significant on and offs from the network at that time because I was online. If they had a suspicion that someone is mingling around their system, they should have shut it down right away. Sony had enough warnings prior to getting hacked and they were very confident about their defences I guess.

The documents provided by Sony are very informative. Not only it provides information based on a timeline but it explains everything in Sony's perspective. To think that telling their consumers without a physical evidence that their information has been taken would be...stupid. Not only they will provide false information to the consumers that could lead to fear. Either way, it was a dilemma for Sony.

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