The hacking group Anonymous has targeted Sony web sites to take revenge against the company for suing hacker GeoHot. But an offshoot of the group has also begun targeting Sony executives by digging up and exposing their private information.

Under what it calls Operation Payback, the hacker collective launched distributed denial of service attacks (which flood sites with traffic in order to bring them down) against, the PlayStation Store, and the PlayStation Network. The group called the attack #OpSony. But the attacks against executives will likely cause more law enforcement concerns and raise the intensity of the conflict.

The more aggressive offshoot group, called SonyRecon, has used the OpSony communications channel to announce itself and target Sony executives. The group is collecting personal information dubbed “dox,” which includes names, phone numbers, pictures, home addresses, email, internet protocol address, family members and other data. The group is seeking info on Sony chief executive Howard Stringer and others.

Some of the attacks planned against the individuals include pranks sending them post cards saying one of their previous sexual partners has a sexually transmitted disease. But it clearly seems pretty scary for anyone targeted. The group has reportedly shared the details of Sony employees’ family records and personal details.

Sony is suing George “GeoHot” Hotz under copyright law for sharing “jailbreaking” tools that allow users to circumvent the security of the PlayStation 3 and run unauthorized software on it.

Anonymous said that Sony had abused the judicial system to censor information on how its products work, victimized customers for possessing and sharing information, and targeting every person who seeks that information. “In doing so, you have violated the privacy of thousands,” a reference to Sony’s attempt to find out who downloaded the jailbreaking software. Anonymous further accused Sony of “corporate greed” and seeking to control users. “Now you will experience the wrath of Anonymous. You saw a hornet’s nest and stuck your penises in it.” It went on to warn, “Expect us.”

VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Learn more about membership.