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Amazon Server Said to Be Used in Sony Attack

onQ123

Member
May 1, 2010
17,297
9,196
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http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-...vaded-by-hackers-using-amazon-com-server.html

Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN)’s Web Services cloud- computing unit was used by hackers in last month’s attack against Sony Corp. (6758)’s online entertainment systems, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

Hackers using an alias signed up to rent a server through Amazon’s EC2 service and launched the attack from there, said the person, who requested anonymity because the information is confidential. The account has been shut down, the person said.

The development sheds light on how hackers used the so- called cloud to carry out the second-biggest online theft of personal information to date. The incursion, which compromised the personal accounts of more than 100 million Sony customers, was “a very carefully planned, very professional, highly sophisticated criminal cyber attack,” Sony has said.

Drew Herdener, a spokesman for Seattle-based Amazon, declined to comment.

“We’re continuing to work with law enforcement in an ongoing investigation into the situation,” said Patrick Seybold, a U.S. spokesman for Tokyo-based Sony. “As such, we will not comment further on this matter."

The hackers didn’t break into the Amazon servers, the person said. Rather, they signed up for the service just as a legitimate company would, using fake information.

Even so, the breach at Amazon is likely to call attention to concerns some businesses have voiced over the security of computing services delivered via others’ remote servers, referred to as cloud computing.

Cloud security is Amazon’s top priority, Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos said at an event sponsored by Consumer Reports magazine this week.

Rented Servers

‘‘Data security is one of these great dynamic situations where the bad guys get better, and the good guys have to keep getting better too -- it’s not a static situation,” Bezos said, according to Fast Company magazine’s website. “I don’t think this is ever going away -- it’s like trying to say that you’re going to get crime to go away.”

The use of a hijacked or rented server to launch attacks is typical for sophisticated hackers. The proliferation of server farms around the globe have made such misdirection easier, said E.J. Hilbert, president of the security company Online Intelligence and a former FBI cyber-crime investigator.

The FBI will likely subpoena Amazon as part of its investigation process, or it may try to obtain a search warrant, Hilbert said.

“The subpoena will give law enforcement a history of the transactions,” or who had access to the specific Internet address at that time, Hilbert said. “The search warrant will get them more detailed information, including payment information and which credit card was used.”

Amazon Service

Herdener declined to say whether Amazon has been subpoenaed or served with a search warrant.

Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Darrell Foxworth, a spokesman for the agency’s San Diego field office, said he couldn’t comment on whether the agency had served Amazon with a search warrant or subpoena.

“We are following up on each and every lead,” Foxworth said.

Amazon Web Services leases computing space to companies such as Netflix Inc. (NFLX) and Eli Lilly & Co. so they don’t have to buy their own servers to store data and handle a surge in visitors. The unit brought in about $500 million in revenue in the past year, according to estimates from Barclays Capital and Lazard Capital Markets, or about 1.5 percent of Amazon’s $34.2 billion in sales. The company doesn’t disclose revenue from Web services.

Security Risk

Sony offered customers a free year of identify-theft protection after its PlayStation Network and Qriocity entertainment networks were crippled by the attack. Thieves may have stolen credit-card, debit records and other personal information from customers of Sony Online Entertainment, a third service. The New York Attorney General’s office has subpoenaed Sony, according to a person familiar with the probe.

Network security breaches are part of a trend that saw the costs of such invasions jump 48 percent, to an average of $318 per compromised record last year, according to a March report by the Ponemon Institute.

Malicious attacks in the U.S. are on the rise. They climbed 7 percentage points in 2010, with data breaches costing U.S. businesses an average of $7.2 million per incident, according to the Ponemon Institute report. The study found that about 85 percent of all U.S. companies have experienced one or more attacks.
 

BocoDragon

or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Realize This Assgrab is Delicious
Dec 5, 2005
51,641
6
0
It was strange that both Amazon-hosted sites and PSN were down at the same time.... connection?
 
D

Deleted member 80556

Unconfirmed Member
This just got a hell lot more interesting!
 

JABEE

Member
May 19, 2010
44,036
0
645
They said it was a professionally organized hack. Is there any chance that rival corporations would do this?
 

JBuccCP

Member
Mar 23, 2008
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My sources deep inside Walmart are telling me that at the last Multinational Corporation BOD Meet 'n' Greet Picnic some Microsoft guys were bragging about how they faked an account on Amazon's online services and were wondering what they could use it for. Again this isn't my info, just what my sources are telling me so take it for what it's worth.
 

Dambrosi

Banned
Jun 7, 2004
6,734
1
0
Liverpool, UK

DUMDUM DUM DUDUM

DUMDUM DUM DUDUM

Yeah, I think we can safely say now that AnonOps didn't do this. :p

Oh, and I recall asking, in the early days of the outage, whether the simultaneous EC2 outage had anything to do with it. Well, did I freaking call it or what?

Assuming the story is true, of course.
 

iceatcs

Junior Member
Jul 9, 2007
10,643
32
1,280
London
Vamphuntr said:
Can't they track down the payment for the rental?
Hackers won't use their card. Obviously they will use the stolen CC numbers from somewhere on the net.
 

Psychotext

Member
Jun 15, 2007
35,928
0
1,175
Wouldn't be massively surprising. It's a good way of getting short term access to a shitload of processing power if you need it.

Edit - Wait... wasn't EC2 down at the same time though?
 

TheSeks

Blinded by the luminous glory that is David Bowie's physical manifestation.
Feb 14, 2009
56,093
0
800
Brannon said:
CLOUD is evolving!

CLOUD has evolved into THUNDERCLOUD!

Dun-dun-dun... DAH-DUN-DAH-DUN-DEE-DEE-DUNNNNNNNNNNN...

Quick use a PSNCUREBERRY, maybe PSN will come back up then!
 
Oct 25, 2006
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JBuccCP said:
My sources deep inside Walmart are telling me that at the last Multinational Corporation BOD Meet 'n' Greet Picnic some Microsoft guys were bragging about how they faked an account on Amazon's online services and were wondering what they could use it for. Again this isn't my info, just what my sources are telling me so take it for what it's worth.
I better email Kotaku.
 

JABEE

Member
May 19, 2010
44,036
0
645
JBuccCP said:
My sources deep inside Walmart are telling me that at the last Multinational Corporation BOD Meet 'n' Greet Picnic some Microsoft guys were bragging about how they faked an account on Amazon's online services and were wondering what they could use it for. Again this isn't my info, just what my sources are telling me so take it for what it's worth.
Are you joking?
 

iceatcs

Junior Member
Jul 9, 2007
10,643
32
1,280
London
JBuccCP said:
My sources deep inside Walmart are telling me that at the last Multinational Corporation BOD Meet 'n' Greet Picnic some Microsoft guys were bragging about how they faked an account on Amazon's online services and were wondering what they could use it for. Again this isn't my info, just what my sources are telling me so take it for what it's worth.
Totally makes sense
 

Dr. Malik

FlatAss_
Mar 16, 2010
15,410
0
0
JBuccCP said:
My sources deep inside Walmart are telling me that at the last Multinational Corporation BOD Meet 'n' Greet Picnic some Microsoft guys were bragging about how they faked an account on Amazon's online services and were wondering what they could use it for. Again this isn't my info, just what my sources are telling me so take it for what it's worth.

lol, if this is true it would take console wars to a whole another shitty level.
 

Poyunch

Member
Dec 29, 2009
15,192
0
690
Oh ho ho. So Whiskey Media sites and PSN both being down might not be a coincidence. Intriguing.