Make Weekend Plans: ‘Anonymous’ Hackers Plan to Shut Down the Internet This Saturday

Are you someone who spends a lot of time on the Internet? Do you surf websites, send email, post your exploits on Facebook or argue with your friends on Twitter? If so, all that fun is apparently going to grind to a halt this Saturday.

How can this be? Well, if it does happen, you can thank notorious hacker group Anonymous. They plan to shut down the Internet in protest on March 31.

Here’s why: “To protest SOPA, Wallstreet, our irresponsible leaders and the beloved bankers who are starving the world for their own selfish needs out of sheer sadistic fun, on March 31, anonymous will shut the Internet down. Remember, this is a protest, we are not trying to ‘kill’ the Internet we are only temporarily shutting it down where it hurts the most.”

The plan, known as “Operation Global Blackout 2012″ (catchy name that) looks to hit the Internet where it lives, at the main DNS servers that make the entire thing possible. By shutting down the DNS servers with what amounts to a denial of service attack (look it up), it will effectively make websites unreachable and spawn a sea of 404 errors or worse.

But can they do it? According to Cyber Security “experts” they can’t. Well, at least this one guy seems pretty certain.

Whatever happens on Saturday, if you end up having a problem reaching your favorite website maybe that’s not such a bad thing. Take it as a sign that perhaps you should spend some time with friends, family or even dare I say it, outside in the fresh air.

It’s just one day. It won’t kill you.

Sega Is the Latest Victim, Admits User Accounts Hacked

The spree of hacking attacks against video game publishers continues. This time around Sega is the victim. Today, the company has confirmed that personal data from 1.3 million user accounts was stolen during a recent security breach, according to reports.

During the attack, hackers were able to obtain email addresses, encrypted passwords, birth dates and names of Sega Pass network users. The hackers did not access credit card data, however. As a result of the attack, Sega’s Sega Pass network has been taken offline.

“We are deeply sorry for causing trouble to our customers. We want to work on strengthening security,” Yoko Nagasawa, a Sega spokeswoman, said. As yet, no group has taken credit for the attack.

With all this hacking going on, you have to wonder who’s next?

Chinese Hacker Break Into Gmail Accounts of Government Officials, More

This news should make you feel safe about your Gmail accounts. Might be time to change those passwords that contain your birthday and your kids names. Why are we so paranoid? Read on.

Google on Wednesday confirmed that a hacker from China was able to break into hundreds of Gmail accounts. Fortunately, Google detected the attack almost immediately and notified the victims. Almost as quickly, China has denied involvement in the hacking scheme and denounced the allegations as “unacceptable.”

Several high-profile accounts were reportedly hacked including senior U.S. government personnel, Chinese political activists and government officials from South Korea. The actual hack was a phishing scheme that prompted users to enter their user names and passwords on a web page.

“It’s important to stress that our internal systems have not been affected—these account hijackings were not the result of a security problem with Gmail itself,” Google said on its official Gmail blog.

So again, check those passwords and make them more complex. Also, don’t ever trust anyone who sends you an email asking for your password or other personal information. No legitimate website or company will ever do that.

Sony Says Playstation Network to Be Fully Restored In Most Areas By the Weekend

The amazing Sony hacking saga continues. As you probably know, the company has had a few problems with hackers. Although now, it looks like the company may be seeing some light at the end of the tunnel.

Sony on Tuesday said services associated with its PlayStation Network will be fully restored by the end of this week in all regions outside Japan, Hong Kong, and South Korea. The company also said it would fully restore the Music Unlimited services tied to its Qriocity streaming music service for the PlayStation 3, PSP and PCs.

“We have been conducting additional testing and further security verification of our commerce functions in order to bring the PlayStation Network completely back online so that our fans can again enjoy the first class entertainment experience they have come to love,” said Kazuo Hirai, Sony’s Executive Deputy President, in a statement. “We appreciate the patience and support shown during this time.”

That all sounds great but its been quite a bit of time away from PSN for a lot of users. So much so that several people we know have jumped ship and gone over to Microsoft and its XBox 360/XBox Live offerings. Sucks to be Sony these days it seems.

Click through for the full press release from Sony. Has it been restored for you yet?

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Sony’s Latest PS3 Firmware Update May Be Causing Some Consoles to Overheat

As if the beleaguered Sony doesn’t have enough problems already what with all the recent security breaches, hacking and general ill will from fans who waited a long time for the PSN to come back online. Now it seems we can add another potential issue to the already troubled company’s litany of problems.

According to sources at Rockstar Games, the developer of hit games such as Grand Theft Auto and L.A. Noir, the latest 3.61 firmware update for the Sony PS3 is causing units to overheat.

“We have received some reports of PS3s overheating while playing L.A. Noire or beeping three times before shutting down / turning themselves off, mostly on older 60GB and 80GB fat models,” Rockstar customer service team said on its support page, as reported by MCVUK.

Rockstar also offered that the problem is not just with L.A. Noir and that users are experiencing the same issue with other games. When the problem occurs, the red light or PS3 freeze usually happens between 30 minutes to 2 hours after starting a game.

Here’s a statement from Rockstar Customer Service on the subject. This is, however, not an “official” statement from the company (at least not yet):

“At this time we are recommending contacting Sony directly to report the overheating issue. However, this is not the end of our support; we are continuing to test L.A. Noire on all firmware versions and hardware models to isolate the issues and see what can be done. As always, we will update this article as soon as we have updates.”

Sucks to be Sony right now. Anyone had any problems like this after updating your PS3? If so, sound off in the comments.