While the attacks against Sony by the hacktivist group Anonymous don't seem to have materialized, a Facebook page entitled Operation SONY has been set up, pointing to some kind of action on April 16.
Anonymous had posted a warning to Sony that it planned an attack as revenge for the legal action taken against another hacker who modified a PlayStation 3.
Sony Computer Entertainment America filed suit in January against George Hotz, also known as Geohot. Hotz had released a firmware modification that allowed a Sony PlayStation 3 to run other operating systems. Sony had removed that functionality some months before. The suit is still pending.
The Facebook page doesn't say exactly what the Anonymous collective is planning. It simply lists a date. There are several people who say they are attending, and threads of comments that both support and oppose various actions against Sony, but there is nothing concrete.
PlayStation Lifestyle reported that a splinter group of Anonymous was targeting Sony employees, and cited postings from a chat room that outlined names and addresses of people working at Sony. A look at the relevant chat room on Tuesday afternoon didn't show any links to personal documents. But it did have a link to the Operation Sony Facebook page.
Another Facebook page, called Operation Boycott Sony also bears the Anonymous logo, but it isn't clear the two are connected.
The first intimations that Sony's web sites might be attacked appeared on the Anonnews site. A press release was posted that says, 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.
Anonymous is a loose collective, with no single set of leaders as such. It is therefore difficult to say whether the note will mean any real attack -- presumably on Sony's web sites -- will take place, or has taken place. The us.playstation.com site appeared to be up and running on Tuesday.
In the comments on the original Anonymous posting, some back the plan wholeheartedly while others say Hotz is seeking attention and doesn't deserve anyone's support.
Anonymous supposedly made similar threats against the Westboro Baptist Church. Later members of the same collective accused the church of staging attacks against its own web sites, while the church said it was in fact attacked.