Feeds

PlayStation Network hack launched from Amazon EC2

Cloud economics strikes again

Boost IT visibility and business value

The hackers who breached the security of Sony's PlayStation Network and gained access to sensitive data for 77 million subscribers used Amazon's web services cloud to launch the attack, Bloomberg News reported.

The attackers rented a server from Amazon's EC2 service and penetrated the popular network from there, the news outlet said, citing an unnamed person with knowledge of the matter. The hackers supplied fake information to Amazon. The account has now been closed.

Neither Sony nor Amazon commented on the claims.

Bloomberg doesn't say how Amazon's cloud service was used to mount the attack. If the report is correct, it wouldn't be the first time it's been used by hackers.

German security researcher Thomas Roth earlier this year showed how tapping the EC2 service allowed him to crack Wi-Fi passwords in a fraction of the time and for a fraction of the cost of using his own computing gear. For about $1.68, he used special “Cluster GPU Instances” of the Amazon cloud to carry out brute-force cracks that allowed him to access a WPA-PSK protected network in about 20 minutes.

And in late 2009, a ZeuS-based banking trojan used the popular Amazon service as a command and control channel that issued software updates and malicious instructions to PCs that were infected by the malware.

In both cases, those tapping the Amazon cloud did so as paid customers.

A top Sony executive recently implicated the Anonymous hacker collective in the PSN attack but has so far provided no convincing evidence to support that claim. The attack, which penetrated core parts of the gaming network, was used to steal passwords, names, addresses, ages, email addresses and other data associated with 77 million accounts.

The network has been closed for the past 23 days and Sony has provided no little indication when it will reopen. On Tuesday, the company said the exact restoration date "will likely be at least a few more days". On April 30, the company's CEO had predicted the site would reopen later that week.

The Bloomberg article is here. ®

This article was updated to add details about the timeline for restoration of the PlayStation Network.

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Pay to play: The hidden cost of software defined everything
Enter credit card details if you want that system you bought to actually be useful
HP busts out new ProLiant Gen9 servers
Think those are cool? Wait till you get a load of our racks
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
Community chest: Storage firms need to pay open-source debts
Samba implementation? Time to get some devs on the job
Like condoms, data now comes in big and HUGE sizes
Linux Foundation lights a fire under storage devs with new conference
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
prev story

Whitepapers

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup
Learn why inSync received the highest overall rating from Druva and is the top choice for the mobile workforce.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.