Anonymous, the hacker group behind a rash of massive security breaches, might be turning its attention back to Sony.
In the fading days of 2011, the loosely collected group released a YouTube video expressing its outrage at Sony's support of SOPA, a controversial piece of legislation aiming to curtail online piracy. That's got some people concerned, since the last time Sony and Anonymous clashed, it opened the doors for the largest data breach in online history.
"Supporting SOPA is like trying to throw an entire company from off a bridge," the group said in its usual bombastic style.
"Your support to the act is a signed death warrant to SONY Company and Associates. Therefore, yet again, we have decided to destroy your network. We will dismantle your phantom from the internet. Prepare to be extinguished. Justice will be swift, and it will be for the people, whether some like it or not. Sony, you have been warned."
It's always hard to get a good read on Anonymous' intentions -- the organization tends to lack real structure -- but there are signs that the group does not intend to once again attack the PlayStation Network. While some members had hoped to once again test that system's defenses, the plan has seemingly shifted to target Sony executives, posting personal information about them available online.
The group may also deface the company's websites and release pirated Sony movies, music and games.
Or, they may do nothing. Anonymous is a bit quirky like that — and there are often vows to attack that never occur.
Sony, for its part, has seemingly dropped its support of SOPA, as have Nintendo and Electronic Arts. (The Entertainment Software Association, however, continues to support the bill.)
SOPA, or the Stop Online Piracy Act, is currently being debated by Congress. The law, which hopes to put a dent in online piracy, would give copyright holders the power to take legal action when it discovers a site is infringing upon that copyright. Actions could include demanding that search engines and social networking sites block access to the site, advertisers ceasing doing business with the accused site, and internet service providers blocking access entirely.
Critics argue the bill is overreaching and overly broad, and could essentially cripple the internet. Opponents include Facebook, AOL, Yahoo, Google and the Consumer Electronics Association.