Bloomberg news have reported that the hackers who breached the Sony Playstation Network security used Amazon’s web services cloud to launch the attack.
According to the story, the hacker(s) rented a server from Amazon’s EC2 service and breached the network from there, mentioning an unnamed person with knowledge of the matter. The hackers obviously supplied fake information to Amazon. This account has subsequently been closed.
Amazon and Sony have yet to comment on these claims. Bloomberg have not detailed how Amazon’s Cloud was used to handle the attack on Sony, but it would appear that Amazon’s Cloud has been used before for similar activities.
Thomas Roth, a german security researcher highlighted that by tapping into the EC2 service, he could crack Wi-Fi passwords in a fraction of the time of using his own computing equipment. For a cost of around £1 he used special ‘Cluster GPU Instances’ of the Amazon Cloud to carry out brute force cracks which allowed him to access a WPA-PSK protected network in about 20 minutes.
Another famous instance with the ZeuS banking trojan used similar methods, tapping into the Amazon service as a command and control channel which could issue updates and instructions to computers which were infected by the malware.
Sony have not yet commented saying “We’re continuing to work with law enforcement in an ongoing investigation into the situation. As such, we will not comment further on this matter.”
KitGuru says: Using the cloud to mount attacks. Its rather devious and just as clever.