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Coordinated teams of hacktivists will wage war on Sony on Monday to punish the company for supporting the controversial US Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).
The Anonymous collective plans to hack Sony.com and load the homepage with BitTorrent files that allow users to download copyright-protected music and movies -- the very action SOPA is designed to prevent.
Hackers also plan to strike Sony Music's online store, reducing the cost of songs to zero.
Instructions in an Anonymous chatroom
If it is successful, personal details of company executives will also be plastered on the defaced homepage, in an act known as doxing.
Anonymous calls the defaced page 'the payload' to which visitors to Sony websites all over the world will be redirected.
The 'payload' codename hints at the loose-knit collective's plan to militarise.
The faceless organisers of Operation Sony (OpSony) have become sensitive about their public image: they don't want to be referred to as unskilled hackers, or script kiddies, for launching denial of service attacks against Sony, or draw the ire of gamers by damaging the PlayStation Network as it did in Febuary.
Certain skilled hackers have been placed into elite, members-only teams, Eta, Theta and Zeta, which have been tasked with hacking into Sony's online stores so the payload may be uploaded.
Eta will try to eliminate price tags on the Sony store. Zeta will seek a means to upload the payload and redirect visitors to Sony sites to it, and Theta will attempt to prevent Sony from rectifying the damage.
The remaining Alpha, Beta, Delta and Gamma teams have developed the payload and are open for anyone to participate.
Alpha is collating copyright-infringing torrents, Gamma works on doxing Sony executives and Delta is drafting a press release.
Team Beta is working on presentation of the data and a final group, Iota, aims to spread Anonymous propoganda including flyers, posters, and “shitting on executives' lawns'”.
Anonymous insiders offered few further details about the plan, beyond that the OpSony campaign hinges on the hackers' ability to crack Sony's defences.
Team Delta's draft press release was optimistic: “Last April, we took down the Playstation Network. We are firmly rooted in your servers and we can, at will, take them down again.”
While Anonymous says Sony's support of SOPA has triggered the attack, it is merely the latest in a laundry-list of gripes Anonymous holds against the company.
The US Judiciary Committee lists MasterCard Worldwide, CBS, the International Association of Fire Fighters, Revlon and Pfizer among other supporters of the SOPA bill.
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