Internet vigilante group Anonymous has vowed retribution against Sony for taking legal action against hackers that cracked PlayStation 3 (PS3) defences to change console operating software.
A message signed by Anonymous at website anonnews.org yesterday announced an "Operation Payback" campaign aimed at the Japanese consumer electronics titan because of its cases against George "GeoHot" Hotz and Alexander Egorenkov.
"Your recent legal actions against fellow internet citizens, GeoHot and Graf_Chokolo (Egorenkov) have been deemed an unforgivable offence against free speech and internet freedom," the message read.
Anonymous argued that people who bought PS3 consoles have the right to do what they wish with them, including modify them in whatever manner they wish.
The hacker group threatened to retaliate against Sony by attacking the company's websites.
Sony went to court early this year to stop hackers that figured out how to "jailbreak" PS3 consoles to operate on software other than that originally installed by the firm.
A judge granted Sony a restraining order against Hotz, a 23-year-old New Jersey resident, and opposing sides are wrangling over the company's request to have the case heard in a federal district court in California.
Sony wants Hotz taken task for violations of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act and a Computer Fraud Abuse Act. The case against Egorenkov, who also maintains his innocence, is playing out in Germany.
Hotz has denied doing anything wrong. Sony has reportedly tried to find out whether other hackers helped Hotz or if he shared his PS3 breakthrough with others.