Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 4th Apr 2011 23:07 UTC
Legal "The hacker hordes of Anonymous have transferred their fickle attention to Sony. They are currently attacking the company's online Playstation store in retribution for Sony's lawsuit against PS3 hacker George Hotz. A denial of service attack has temporarily taken down playstation.com."
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RE[4]: Meh... except for this
by UltraZelda64 on Tue 5th Apr 2011 19:55 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Meh... except for this"
UltraZelda64
Member since:
2006-12-05

"Bingo. There's a right way and a wrong way to protest things. Virtual vandalism

Vandalism means damaging property that isn't yours. Anonymous isn't damaging anything. In fact, Sony has damaged other people's property by removing OtherOS support - so Sony are the vandals here.
"

Exactly, well said, Thom.

Actual vandalism: Keying, egging putting a dent in someone's car, or probably even worse, putting water or sugar in their gas tank. Breaking the windows out of someone's car or house. Breaking into their computers and deleting/modifying stuff and inserting malware of any kind. The Sony Rootkit... now THAT was a prime example of virtual vandalism, and it opened unsuspecting buyers of Sony CDs to some serious security vulnerabilities. Notice that all of these things actually cause *damage*, real damage, and in the case of physical damage... it can take a lot of money to repair.

Temporary inconvenience: Overloading Sony's servers for a short time to get back at them for suing one of their users, and trying to show them that they're not going to take that kind of attitude as paid users. What's it hurt? Well, Sony's servers deny their users service for a while until someone steps in to correct it, or the DDoSers stop attacking, and... boom, service is up and running again, nothing changed. No files were modified, no hardware damaged; they simply stressed the system for a short while.

Big, big difference there. I can't just look at a broken window or damaged paint/body job and expect that with time it's fixed... it just doesn't work that way. Expect to pay hundreds of dollars in actual damage for something like that to get fixed.

If giving some other server a DoS is vandalism, then Slashdot should have been sued to hell and back by now because of their infamous Slashdot effect.

Edited 2011-04-05 20:07 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

The Sony Rootkit... now THAT was a prime example of virtual vandalism


Temporary inconvenience: Overloading Sony's servers for a short time to get back at them for suing one of their users, and trying to show them that they're not going to take that kind of attitude as paid users. What's it hurt? Well, Sony's servers deny their users service for a while until someone steps in to correct it, or the DDoSers stop attacking, and... boom, service is up and running again, nothing changed. No files were modified, no hardware damaged; they simply stressed the system for a short while.


First you say that doing virtual damage is indeed virtual vandalism, and then right next to it you say it isn't vandalism. Way to counter yourself.

Reply Parent Score: 2

UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

First you say that doing virtual damage is indeed virtual vandalism, and then right next to it you say it isn't vandalism. Way to counter yourself.

The Rootkit installed itself on users' machines at the lowest level possible, gaining root access of the machine. Key words... *installed itself*. As in, modified the system. And in a big way, down to the kernel level, gaining complete access to hide itself and do its business (ie. work against the computer owner's wishes by causing it to fail to rip audio CDs). The "fix" brought in some serious vulnerabilities. It was a great example why AutoRun is a bad idea, and could not even be trusted for what seemed to be innocent redbook audio CDs bought by an entity as "innocent" as a corporation.

In comparison, all the DDoS did was temporarily stress Sony's machines, causing no permanent damage--just server downtime, until the incoming connections are few enough that the system could cope with it again. It did not modify the system in any major way other than maybe a massive log of incoming/outgoing connections.

What's the contradiction? If they really want the DDoS to stop as soon as possible, they come in and modify their network to block attackers. If not, wait, and once it's done the system will be working as usual anyway. Either way, same outcome; some downtime followed by business as usual.

Vandalization = Actual damage; unintended and undesired system modification. Rootkit.
Inconvenience = This case of server downtime. DDoS.

Once news breaks here that someone has used a DDoS attack (or used some other method of gaining access) to purposely break into and tamper with Sony's systems, then things change. *Then* it's vandalism, intrusion, etc. But as it is, it's just a minor inconvenience for PS3 online players because Sony's machines just can't handle the extra connections. They just had to wait it out a bit if they wanted to continue flipping over Giant Enemy Crabs and attacking their weak points for MASSIVE DAMAGE to get higher scores than their online friends. [Sorry, just had to pull off the E3 joke, as old and unfunny as it probably is these days.]

Maybe instead of pissing off the public, Sony could have avoided all this by not being assholes, and not going to court over their users' freedom of the devices they own. That money Sony blew (and is continuing to blow) to fight against jailbreaking in the courts could have been better spent on, oh, I don't know... upgraded hardware that would take more of a beating under heavy loads? Just a thought. Then again, if Sony never brought this upon themselves, they wouldn't be facing a DDoS attack in the first place. All of the things they could be doing and spending money on to improve the experience of their users... yet it seems they would prefer to be assholes every step of the way. Their (and their customers') problem that they keep shooting themselves in the foot.

Edited 2011-04-06 01:48 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2