Over the weekend, it appeared as if Sony had attracted a powerful antagonist. Anonymous, the "hacktivist" group associated with temporarily bringing down high-profile websites such as Amazon.com and Paypal, announced its intention to exact retribution on Sony over what it deemed to be unjustified legal proceedings against George Hotz and others who released a master key for the PlayStation 3.
Shortly after the announcement, users began reporting server instability for the PlayStation Network and site outages for PlayStation.com and the PlayStation Blog. Today, Sony acknowledged these technical issues, indicating that these problems may indeed be due to an attack on its systems.
"We are currently investigating [the network instability], including the possibility of targeted behavior of an outside party," a Sony representative told GameSpot. "If this is indeed caused by such act, we want to once again thank our customers who have borne the brunt of the attack through interrupted service. Our engineers are working to restore and maintain the services, and we appreciate our customers' continued support. "
The good news for PS3 owners is that it appears as if Anonymous will be backing off its hostilities. An update to the loose-knit organization's website claims it would no longer be directing its efforts at bringing down services such as the PlayStation Network.
"Anonymous is not attacking the PSN at this time," the update reads. "Sony's official position is that the PSN is undergoing maintenance. We realize that targeting the PSN is not a good idea. We have therefore temporarily suspended our action, until a method is found that will not severely impact Sony customers."
"Anonymous is on your side, standing up for your rights," the message continues. "We are not aiming to attack customers of Sony. This attack is aimed solely at Sony, and we will try our best to not affect the gamers, as this would defeat the purpose of our actions. If we did inconvenience users, please know that this was not our goal."
The group went on to note that its campaign against Sony will continue "until we are satisfied with the outcome."