After what appeared to be a quiet period for the infamous hacking group, it seems as though Anonymous is at it again, setting its sights on Sony as well as the websites of German neo-Nazi groups.
Anonymous recently released a video that pledged the destruction of Sony Entertainment's networks with the launch of a new campaign organized with the hashtag #OpSony. This time, however, the group said that data security attacks will be aimed at the company's corporate leadership.
That means any new attack launched against Sony would differ from the PlayStation Network hack of 2011 that exposed millions of users' credit card information and knocked the network offline for about a month. The incident proved to be extremely embarrassing for Sony and demonstrated the need to deploy Internet security measures.
Shortly following that attack, Sony raised suspicions that Anonymous was responsible, but the group's involvement was never proven conclusively. And many associated with it spoke out against Sony's allegations, calling them untrue.
Regardless of the role it played in last year's incident, it appears as though Anonymous feels Sony should still be punished. This time it said any action taken against Sony will be in response to the company's endorsement of the proposed legislation the Stop Online Piracy Act, known as SOPA.
On the welcome page for Anonymous' announcement of the new campaign – which as been changed several times – it recently read "NO SOPA! NO ATTACK ON PSN! [sic]" reiterating its disagreement with the proposed anti-piracy law as well as its intention to leave the PlayStation Network alone.
Judging by comments made pertaining to #OpSony, some are questioning whether the group will stand by its assertion that Sony brass, not users, is the main target.
“If you want to get your message across, PSN is a great way to get ppls attention [sic]," one commenter wrote, according to PCWorld.
In typical Anonymous fashion, it appears the group is also looking to use its cyberattacks for a worthy cause – albeit in a manner that information security professionals may not agree with.
Hackers who claim to be associated with the group recently launched nazi-leaks.net, a German-language website designed to expose confidential information of the country's far-right political groups, including its neo-Nazi movement. The website is part of what the cybercriminals are calling Operation Blitzkrieg.
According to PC Magazine, nazi-leaks.net initially contained emails from NPD members, which have already been published by mainstream German media; customer information stolen from neo-Nazi websites and names of contacts for the right-wing news provider Junge Freiheit.
"For quite a while now we have been watching our precious interwebs being used as a platform for ideologies as stupid and dangerous as it gets," said the group that launched the website, according to German newspaper Der Spiegel. "The talk is of course of far-right parties. We German Anons have decided to tolerate no more these actions."
Anonymous has certainly kept busy as of late. In addition to these attacks, hackers claiming to have an affiliation with AntiSec – a loose connection between Anonymous and fellow hacking group LulzSec – infiltrated the network of global intelligence thinktank Stratfor on Christmas Eve. The confidential information of more than 4,000 of the firm's clients was stolen in the attack, along with what the hackers claimed to be a "secret client list." However, Stratfor asserted the list in question actually pertained to clients who have purchased publications from the company.