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updated 4/5/2011 10:19:01 AM ET 2011-04-05T14:19:01

Sony is the latest in a long line of companies to incur the wrath of the online hacktivist group Anonymous.

With a series of distributed denial-of-service attacks, Anonymous launched “OpSony,” disrupting several Sony PlayStation 3 websites last night (April 4).

The online protest is Anonymous’ retaliation for Sony’s recent legal action against George Hotz, a hacker who published the details of his Sony PS3 hack last year. On March 5, a federal magistrate approved Sony’s request to obtain IP addresses of anyone who visited Hotz’s website, geohot.com, since 2009.

Anonymous believes Sony has gone too far. In its opening missive, Anonymous took the offensive, telling Sony: “You have abused the judicial system in an attempt to censor information on how your products work. You have victimized your own customers merely for possessing and sharing information.”

“Now you will experience the wrath of Anonymous. You saw a hornet's nest, and stuck your penises in it. You must face the consequence of your actions, Anonymous style.”

The hornet’s nest phrase is a nod to a February segment on the TV show "The Colbert Report," in which host Stephen Colbert said that messing with Anonymous is like “sticking your penis” in a hornet’s nest.

The consequences Anonymous warned of appear to not have taken hold — after reporting slow traffic last night, Sony.com and PlayStation.com are both fully operational.

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