Sony network breach shows Amazon Cloud’s appeal for hackers

May 18, 2011 | Source: Bloomberg

The hackers that brought down Sony’s Playstation Network for more than a month used stolen credit cards to rent computing power from Amazon’s Elastic Computing Cloud (EC2) to carry out their attack. Personal information, credit cards, and passwords from millions of customers were seized by hackers during the attack.

Because computing power can be rented from EC2 anonymously, hacking using the service can be hard to trace. Tracing the attack may require the FBI seeking a search warrant to access Amazon’s detailed records of which IP addresses accessed the service at which time, and tracing those IP addresses to homes or businesses.

The Playstation Network remains down in Japan due to government concerns over its security.