Sony’s Playstation Network, its online service for Playstation 3 and its Playstation Portable consoles, suffered from a major outage today; which is on going as of this writting. According to Son’ys blog, the interruption in service may last into the long weekend – for at least another „full day or two“. Sony released a statement through its EU blog, saying that the network outage may be a result of „targeted behaviour by an outside party“, brining in the possibility of cyberattacks. Adding to the confusion is the fact that the message has since been removed.
While it could be the case that other Anons have acted by themselves AnonOps wa not related to this incident and takes no responsiblity for it. A more likely explination is that Sony is taking advantage of Anonymous‘ previous ill-will towards the company to distract users from the fact the outage is accutally an internal problem with the companies servers.
Sony is incompetent.
Anonymous — the group credited with taking down security vendor HBGary Federal and defending WikiLeaks by attacking websites of its perceived enemies — says it has nothing to do with the network trouble crippling Sony’s PlayStation site, despite having declared a cyber jihad against the company.
7 ways to avoid getting hacked by Anonymous
The hactivist group Anonymous used a series of simple technical and social exploits to crack the network of security-technology firm HBGary Federal, giving the company a schooling that other network security pros can learn from.
The overriding lesson: Meticulously follow the basic best-practices of corporate defense. But there are more detailed takeaways for those who are willing to learn from HBGary Federal’s mistakes. (For a detailed account of just how Anonymous cracked HBGary Federal, check out this thorough Ars Technica story.)
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HBGary Federal ran afoul of Anonymous when CEO Aaron Barr said he planned to name members of the secretive international group that famously came to the defense of WikiLeaks. Anonymous DDoSed businesses that tried to take down WikiLeaks sites that expose U.S. State Department diplomatic cables.
Here are seven lessons to learn:
- 1. Don’t assume what type of attack you will suffer. Barr thought Anonymous would only launch a DDoS attack against the company’s Web site, just as it had against others. That turned out not to be the case.
- 2. Use a tried and tested content management system that comes with updates, patches and support. HBGary used a custom CMS for its Web site that was susceptible to SQL injection attacks that led to Anonymous accessing data in HBGary’s database.
- 3. Thoroughly hash and rehash passwords stored in databases. HBGary did hash its passwords, but didn’t add extra characters that have to be removed to reveal the actual password. Nor did it rehash the hashed passwords to add layers of complexity to brute forcing the passwords out of the hash. The passwords would still have been susceptible to brute-force attacks, but it would have taken a lot longer to succeed.
- 4. Use strong passwords. Long passwords that use the full range of characters represented on computer keyboards are much harder to break because they rule out the use of rainbow tables — lists of hashes and the passwords they represent. If passwords are composed of long strings of characters and the characters are drawn from all the characters on the computer keyboard (not just letters and numbers), hashes of the passwords become so complex that it isn’t practical to create rainbow tables for them. Two key HBGary Federal executives used simple eight-character passwords — two numbers and six letters. Rainbow tables worked on them.
- 5. Don’t reuse passwords. Some HBGary executives used the same passwords for access to the company’s CRM system as they did for its Google Apps e-mail, as they did for Twitter, as they did for SSH authentication to company storage servers. One of the cracked passwords was for the company’s e-mail administrator’s Google account, which led to all the company’s e-mails being hacked.
- 6. Keep current with patches. Key HBGary servers had a known privilege-elevation flaws for which patches existed. Anonymous exploited the vulnerabilities.
- 7. Heighten user awareness of social engineering. Anonymous sent e-mails from the hacked account of HBGary founder Greg Hoglund to a network administrator requesting key information as if Hoglund himself were asking. In response, the admin opened firewall ports and gave up Hoglund’s user name and password for root access to the servers supporting the company’s rootkit.com Web site.
- Sony confirms external attack brought down PlayStation Network (venturebeat.com)
- PSN outage could last ‚a full day or two‘ (PlayStation 3) (gamesradar.com)
- Anonymous Denies Responsibility for PSN Outage (1up.com)
- Vendetta Hacktivism – The War Between Anonymous and Sony Rages On (TrendHunter.com) (trendhunter.com)