Hacktivist hive-mind Anonymous has announced a ceasefire in its attacks on Sony's PlayStation Network.
In a statement, the collective said it had been targeting Sony because of its "outrageous treatment of not only PS3 users and jailbreakers, but also of the general public," specifically citing the company's self-serving propaganda regarding the issue of piracy on the PS3, and heavy-handed tactics relating to the impending trial of celebrity hacker George 'Geohot' Hotz, who has been heavily implicated in the discovery and distribution of Sony's private security keys.
Distributed Denial of Service attacks have been crippling both the PlayStation Network and Sony corporate sites in recent days but Anonymous says its attacks on the game-playing portal will end today.
"Anonymous is not attacking the PSN at this time," reads the statement. "Sony's official position is that the PSN is undergoing maintenance. We realize that targeting the PSN is not a good idea. We have therefore temporarily suspended our action, until a method is found that will not severely impact Sony customers."
The cessation of hostilities is in no little part as the result of a barrage of complaints from Sony gamers who don't want to be able to hack their consoles or exercise their right to install whatever they want on their consoles whether Sony likes it or not, but just want to be able to shoot their virtual friends in the head without dropping a network connection every five minutes.
And Anonymous seems to have received the message loud and clear: "Anonymous is on your side, standing up for your rights," a spokesanon writes. "We are not aiming to attack customers of Sony. This attack is aimed solely at Sony, and we will try our best to not affect the gamers, as this would defeat the purpose of our actions. If we did inconvenience users, please know that this was not our goal."
But at least one member of the SonyRecon group, which nestles under the Anonymous umbrella, describing PSN users caught up in the crossfire a "collateral damage".
Sparking fears that the hackers would turn their attention to Sony's corporate infrastructure, Anonymous says, "This operation is a response to Sony's attempt to deprive their customers of products they bought and therefore own, wholly and completely. Anonymous will not attempt to fight this by following the exact same course of action. We have plenty of tricks up our sleeves."