Executives at Sony probably didn’t anticipate that a lawsuit against technology whiz kid George Hotz would end up backfiring as spectacularly as it did. The missing ingredient? The hacktivist group Anonymous, which adopted Hotz as a cause célèbre and retaliated with an attack on Sony’s Play Station Network (PSN) that Sony described as ‘very professional’ and ‘sophisticated’ and that exposed the details of some 100 million users, knocking PSN offline for more than a month. Shamed in its home country of Japan, where government regulators blocked the PlayStation Network from going back online, Sony put the cost of responding to the “external extrusion” at $171 million. The damage to its reputation may be even greater.