Are Hackers Punishing Conde Nast for the New Yorker’s Geohot Profile? [UPDATED]

eustacetilley Are Hackers Punishing Conde Nast for the New Yorkers Geohot Profile? [UPDATED]

Mascots for the New Yorker and LulzSec share a love of monocles.

This week the New Yorker published a lengthy profile of George Hotz, the 21-year-old hacker who first unlocked the iPhone and went on to be the unwitting cause of Anonymous’s attack on Sony. Now it appears the magazine is receiving the prescribed backlash to writing about hackers—being hacked.

NewYorker.com was extremely sluggish Wednesday afternoon, a tipster pointed out, and we’re told these lost packets could mean the site is under a DDoS attack. The websites of other Conde Nast magazines like GQ, Vogue, Bon Appetit, Wired and Vanity Fair were all slow around the same time.

A live chat with the author of the George Hotz profile, David Kushner, scheduled for yesterday at 3 p.m., was rescheduled for Friday.

For their part, Conde Nast said any slowness is unrelated.

“We are experiencing some technical difficulties due to a new feature that we added to our sites,”  a company spokesperson explained. “We are current rolling that back and expect the sites to be back up to speed shortly.”

Anonymous members launched a DDoS attack on Sony’s website after the company sued Mr. Hotz, a.k.a. geohot, for jailbreaking a PlayStation 3. The group demanded Sony drop the case and “Leave Fellow hackers like geohot alone.” Operation Sony began as a DDoS attack, intended to crash the company’s website, but later escalated—at the hands of other hacker groups, including LulzSec—to include breaches of the PlayStation Network, Sony Online Entertainment network, and the Sony Pictures site, compromising quite a bit of customer data.

It’s hard to see what, in this case, merits an attack; the profile of Mr. Hotz is flattering, and not particularly critical of his so-called “Black Hat” hacker following either. But Mr. Hotz does renounce the groups who attacked Sony in his name.

“I’m the complete opposite of Anonymous,” he told writer David Kushner. “I’m George Hotz. Everything I do is aboveboard, everything I do is legit.”

 Thoughts? kstoeffel@observer.com