Anonymous struggles with rift, PSN blame

The fractured nature of , usually a source of strength for the group, , after one operator seized control of the group's IRC network.

An Anonymous IRC chat moderator, Ryan, who apparently owns some of the infrastructure used for AnonOps communications, cut off other operators, according to and . The moderator allegedly redirected domain names, attacked other servers that he did not administer and published the Internet addresses of people connected to the IRC servers.

"We regret to inform you today that our network has been compromised by a former IRC-operator and fellow helper named 'Ryan,'" stated a release attributed to the former operators. "He decided that he didn't like the leaderless command structure that AnonOps network admins use."

The ultimate impact of the rift within Anonymous is difficult to quantify, says Mikko Hypponen, director of research for security firm F-Secure.

"It's hard to tell whether there's going to be any long-term impact yet," he says. "Anonymous is very versatile as a group. Then again, it could split into separate operations."

Other security experts viewed the problems as possibly presaging an internal split in the group.