Amazon EC2 service used in Sony attack?

14 May 2011

An Amazon EC2 cloud computing service was reportedly used by hackers in last month’s cyber attack on Sony’s PlayStation Network and Sony Entertainment Online that saw 100m users’ personal details exposed.

It is believed hackers used an alias to rent a server via Amazon’s EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) service and launched the attack.

Instead of breaking into the Amazon servers, the hackers signed up for the service using fake information, according to Bloomberg.

The attack on Sony’s PlayStation Network affected 77m gamers whose names, email addresses, phone numbers, home addresses and user IDs were captured by hackers.

An earlier attack similarly affected 25m PC gamers on Sony Entertainment Online’s servers – in that attack it is believed credit and debit card details of 24,000 users were seized by the hackers who broke into the database server.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years