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Cloud PlayStation (Games) Security Games

Amazon Servers Used In Sony Playstation Hack 135

Posted by samzenpus
from the bad-clouds dept.
the simurgh writes "Amazon servers may have been used to carry out the massive Playstation hack that compromised the personal information of more than 100 million Playstation Network users. According to a report from Bloomberg, sources close to the ongoing investigation say the attack was mounted from Amazon Web Service's cloud computing platform."
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Amazon Servers Used In Sony Playstation Hack

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Obviously. Who is better equipped to take down Sony than the elusive Amazon?
  • by mehrotra.akash (1539473) on Sunday May 15, 2011 @11:22AM (#36133614)

    Will there be a thunderstorm?

  • by toygeek (473120) on Sunday May 15, 2011 @11:24AM (#36133626) Homepage Journal

    Is it an Anonymous Cloud or Anonymous' Cloud?

    So if the attack came from a cloud, then wouldn't it be a lightning attack instead of a "hacking" attack?

    We really need to get this internet meteorology right.

    • we called that blitzkrieg in wwii

    • by SheeEttin (899897)

      We really need to get this internet meteorology right.

      Well, if I ever get into the The Cloud business, I know what to put on my business cards...

  • Revenue from cloud services: 1.5%
    Retail revenue lost from consumers who will forever link one of the greatest breaches in history with the Amazon brand: Priceless
    • I suspect most all of the people that are amazon customers only vaguely know what's going on and won't bother to learn the detail on the hosting provider for the attackers systems.

      I suspect the minority that are that inclined almost all know that in this specific scenario, Amazon was just a hosting provider and understand that means they aren't particularly responsible for what happened any more than AT&T would be responsible for a house downloading a video illegally.

      Sure, there is probably a very small

      • Competent hosting companies monitor for this abuse. Amazon doesn't, and turns a blind eye towards it (because it would greatly reduce the margin on their computing resources they sell if they had to monitor for abuse).

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          They cannot legally monitor for abuse... Or they can then get sued for "not finding abuse fast enough" and shit like that.

          It is the same reason why no shared or VPS hosting company says they actively monitor your usage / files. This is a form of liability control for them. The second they start taking responsibility for "catching pirates, hackers, crackers, and pedophiles" is the second they can then be named in a lawsuit and sued.

        • "Competent hosting companies monitor for this abuse. Amazon doesn't, and turns a blind eye towards it"

          Just like competent gun makers will monitor for gun abuses? Is this the "Colt should pay for murderings produced using its weapons" argument?

          • by grcumb (781340)

            Just like competent gun makers will monitor for gun abuses? Is this the "Colt should pay for murderings produced using its weapons" argument?

            If Colt were renting out the firearms by the hour and selling ammunition by the crate, then yes, you could reasonably expect them to monitor who is using them and for what stated purpose.

            • by Rakishi (759894)

              So Hertz has to have a guy sitting in every car that people rent to prevent someone from using the rented car to commit a crime?

          • If you abuse a gun, there isn't much that can be done. You cause problems for others on the Internet? That's a fast way to get NANOG on your back and have your IP blocks and AS numbers blackholed at a variety of large networks (transit, peering fabrics, etc).

        • by datapharmer (1099455) on Sunday May 15, 2011 @07:34PM (#36136424) Homepage
          Seriously. I've grown tired of reporting abuse to amazon, whose policy is to "send the complaint on to the customer". I now just block their IP ranges. Unfortunate for anyone who legitimately wants to crawl my sites using their service, but if enough people block them they will start seeing customers head elsewhere. Blocking about a half dozen abusive ISPs has cut my attack logs down exponentially, so failure to regulate your service = banned appears to be an acceptable policy in many cases.
      • Or maybe they'll like the fact that they were utilized in attacking Sony.

    • I think you underestimate the revenue growth "The Cloud" generates for it's vendors.
      I also think you over estimate how many people will ever even hear that Amazon was involved, much less care about it.
    • Revenue from cloud services: 1.5%

      Retail revenue lost from consumers who will forever link one of the greatest breaches in history with the Amazon brand: Priceless

      You mean, just like the customers are fleeing the Windows platform in droves?

  • It will be interesting to see what sony does with this if it is true. I mean, it is not like they care about burning bridges. I could totally see them suing Amazon, if only to give them a PR black eye.

    • It will be interesting to see what sony does with this if it is true. I mean, it is not like they care about burning bridges. I could totally see them suing Amazon, if only to give them a PR black eye.

      Your post was not totally clear. Is the intent to give Amazon a PR Black Eye, or to freshen up the Sony PR Black Eye? I think Amazon would actually end up with a PR win if they handled it right.

      • by jhoegl (638955)
        I dont know that this kind of law suit would go anywhere anyways. Amazon provides a service, much like ISPs provide service. If you sue one, you would have to sue all.
        However, if Sony were smart, they would put pressure on Congress to require companies to gain stronger knowledge about those they lease server space to.
    • Amazon does a lively business selling Playstation 3 consoles and games. I doubt Sony will want to bite one of the hands that feeds it.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Thieves were recently caught shoplifting. They wearing clothes from Gap, calling into question the influence and security of such clothing.

    Yes, the story makes about as much sense as that...

    • More like using a pepper spray (meant for self defence) to steal stuff from others

    • Not a very good analogy. This is more like (car analogy time) hiring a tow car for a vehicle you don't own as a way of stealing it. The tow car driver facilitates the crime without being aware that they are doing anything illicit.

      • by zarzu (1581721)
        Not really. It would be more like a tow car rental company. Amazon only provides the basic hardware, they were used as anonymizer, just like a rental would if you provide fake information (which was done in this case).
    • by hoytak (1148181)

      Rather, it's like they were using Amazon Fresh when they suddenly learned this: http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=876#comic [smbc-comics.com]

  • really? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cratermoon (765155) on Sunday May 15, 2011 @11:44AM (#36133740) Homepage

    Considering how Amazon has become known for caving to the slightest pressure from law enforcement or even just a nosy senator [talkingpointsmemo.com], to host such an attack from EC2 seems extraordinarily stupid.

    It would make much more sense to launch it from somewhere hosted by a company that doesn't have a reputation for giving up their customer's data and shutting down even legitimate stuff that happens to run afoul of their vague guidelines.

    • Considering how Amazon has become known for caving to the slightest pressure from law enforcement or even just a nosy senator [talkingpointsmemo.com], to host such an attack from EC2 seems extraordinarily stupid.

      It would make much more sense to launch it from somewhere hosted by a company that doesn't have a reputation for giving up their customer's data and shutting down even legitimate stuff that happens to run afoul of their vague guidelines.

      ?? Huh?

      If you're in the business of stealing credentials, why not use some of the Amazon services those credentials allow you to access in order to get even more credentials?

      As a benefit this also allows moronic assumpteers to take a distracting trip down "IP + Credentials == People" or "Shoot the Messenger" lane. If UPS delivers you a bomb or an envelope full of anthrax, it's not UPS's fault -- It's the malcontent that sent the package (Well, it's partially your fault too for accepting mail from a com

    • Re:really? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Hardhead_7 (987030) on Sunday May 15, 2011 @12:08PM (#36133950)

      Considering how Amazon has become known for caving to the slightest pressure from law enforcement or even just a nosy senator [talkingpointsmemo.com], to host such an attack from EC2 seems extraordinarily stupid.

      It would make much more sense to launch it from somewhere hosted by a company that doesn't have a reputation for giving up their customer's data and shutting down even legitimate stuff that happens to run afoul of their vague guidelines.

      Nah, once you do something on the scale of the PSN hack, it doesn't matter if the service provider caves too easily or not, because everyone gives up information when they get served a warrant. And there will be warrants. They just had to make sure Amazon has no way to trace it back to them, and it seems very unlikely the perpetrators accessed Amazon's servers from anything other than a laptop bought at a yard sale with a fake MAC address on a public wi-fi hotspot.

      And the cloud services were paid for with a Visa gift card that was bought with cash.

      • by DrXym (126579)

        Nah, once you do something on the scale of the PSN hack, it doesn't matter if the service provider caves too easily or not, because everyone gives up information when they get served a warrant. And there will be warrants. They just had to make sure Amazon has no way to trace it back to them, and it seems very unlikely the perpetrators accessed Amazon's servers from anything other than a laptop bought at a yard sale with a fake MAC address on a public wi-fi hotspot.

        You'd like to think so but hackers can do stupid things, or fail to cover their tracks sufficiently, e.g. can't wipe logs. It's also possible that if anonymous were responsibles that internal ructions over the attack could lead to the person being identified via an informant which in turn leads to a raid which in turn leads to information being found that way.

      • And the cloud services were paid for with a Visa gift card that was bought with cash.

        The last time I purchased a Visa gift card with cash, I had to show ID.
      • by Syberz (1170343)

        If CSI taught me anything, it's that there's a traffic camera picture of the person having purchased the VISA gift card that the authorities will use to run a visual basic interface on it to cross-check with their "everyone on the planet" database.

      • Good analysis of how they would probably foil the backtrace. As far as caving when there are warrants, I was thinking of a hosting company off in a small island country that doesn't put a lot of effort into complying with international law enforcement efforts. I don't know of such places, but I'm sure they must exist.
    • by drolli (522659)

      Why? If you stole the credit card numbers before to buy the computation time, its not a big deal it they later fine the virtual machine afterwards. I would obviously only use the EC2 to collect and encrypt the data, but obviously not process it. If you need a lot of bandwidth to handle the incoming data, but you can afford a few days to transfer them out.

    • Nosy senator? Did you mean Joey Lieberman, a member of that ultra-neocon Foundation in Defense of Democracies (whose, one wonders???), PNAC version 2.0?

      Recently, they have financed a pile of drivel, in support of the Cheney-Rumsfeld conspiracy theory on 9/11, and attacking all those critics who know stuff like math, science, engineering, aviation and are retired intelligence professionals and military professionals, as well as former heads of state (i.e., really "flaky" guys as opposed to goatherds like Ch

    • by SomePgmr (2021234)

      Considering how Amazon has become known for caving to the slightest pressure from law enforcement or even just a nosy senator [talkingpointsmemo.com], to host such an attack from EC2 seems extraordinarily stupid.

      You're probably right, but I had to laugh that just a few posts up someone was complaining that they're not trigger-happy enough. Maybe they really have found a middle-ground.

      It would make much more sense to launch it from somewhere hosted by a company that doesn't have a reputation for giving up their customer's data and shutting down even legitimate stuff that happens to run afoul of their vague guidelines.

      I expect the doer[s] knew the hack would be done-and-over by the time anyone was issuing shut-downs. I'd guess the way to find them now has everything to do with the stolen data. Where it went, where it's being sold or used, etc.

  • Looks like the "cloud" rained on PS3 network's parade, so to speak. Hyuk-Hyuk-Hyuk!!! (Imitates Goofy Disney character)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 15, 2011 @11:53AM (#36133812)

    Wait a minute... Amazon's cloud crashed 4/21, the day after Sony realized they'd been pwned and took down PSN.

    Is there something Amazon isn't saying, like maybe they were pwned too??

    • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Sunday May 15, 2011 @12:10PM (#36133964) Homepage

      Wait a minute... Amazon's cloud crashed 4/21, the day after Sony realized they'd been pwned and took down PSN.

      Is there something Amazon isn't saying, like maybe they were pwned too??

      And it was the day after 4/20 - therefore it had something to do with stoners.

      George Bush didn't support legalization of marijuana.

      Goddamnit. It's GEORGE BUSH'S FAULT!

      • by wmbetts (1306001)

        Finally someone with some sense and logic posting on this story. I wish more people realized it was all his fault.

        • Everything is George Bush's fault. Well, except for a few things that are Ronald Regan's fault....
    • Or maybe Sony fought back? :-)

  • > sources close to the ongoing investigation say the attack was mounted from Amazon Web Service's cloud computing platform ..

    What evidence is there that Amazon Cloud was the source and why the need to keep the source of these allegations anonymous.

    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

    I see, asome 'person'

    • In other words, about as much evidence as other claims that Anonymous, PS3 hackers, or Osama bin Laden were involved.

      Hey, gotta fill that news cycle. Gotta draw eyeballs for advertisers. Content is just a vehicle for making money. Truth is incidental, and at this point often accidental.

    • by eulernet (1132389)

      TFA is totally bullshit.

      I think that the hackers used a few open L1 proxies on Amazon AWS.

      In my list of open proxies, there are around 20 proxies on Amazon AWS, of the form
      ec2-??-??-??-???.us-west-1.compute.amazonaws.com:80
      ec2-??-??-??-??.ap-southeast-1.compute.amazonaws.com:80
      ec2-??-??-??-??.compute-1.amazonaws.com:80
      ec2-??-??-??-??.eu-west-1.compute.amazonaws.com:80
      where ??-??-??-?? is an IP address.

      • TFA is totally bullshit.

        I think that the hackers used a few open L1 proxies on Amazon AWS.

        In my list of open proxies, there are around 20 proxies on Amazon AWS, of the form ec2-??-??-??-???.us-west-1.compute.amazonaws.com:80 ec2-??-??-??-??.ap-southeast-1.compute.amazonaws.com:80 ec2-??-??-??-??.compute-1.amazonaws.com:80 ec2-??-??-??-??.eu-west-1.compute.amazonaws.com:80 where ??-??-??-?? is an IP address.

        ...so in order to find the perpetrators, we simply need to determine which seven of those proxies were used in the attack!

  • by RoFLKOPTr (1294290) on Sunday May 15, 2011 @12:06PM (#36133932)

    So the hackers chose to bounce their packets off a server rented from Amazon. They could have chosen a server rented from a thousand others. Hell, they could have done it with a server rented from me. Thankfully, they did not. But really who the hell cares?

    • Just wait for this upcoming week's headlines...

      "Logitech Mice Used In Sony Playstation Hack"
      "64-Bit Processors Used In Sony Playstation Hack"
      "Store-Brand Clothing Used In Sony Playstation Hack"
      "Mountain Dew Used In Sony Playstation Hack"

      • Just wait for this upcoming week's headlines...

        "Logitech Mice Used In Sony Playstation Hack" "64-Bit Processors Used In Sony Playstation Hack" "Store-Brand Clothing Used In Sony Playstation Hack" "Mountain Dew Used In Sony Playstation Hack"

        "Sony VAIO Used In Sony Playstation Hack"

        • by nickb64 (1885128)

          maybe MY stolen VAIO was used in the attack.

          It was stolen randomly less than a week before PSN went down, coincidence, I think not.

          /puts on tin foil hat

    • It's just so the PS3 fanbois can feel a bit more comfortable renting their rectums back to Sony & paying for the privilege when the PSN comes back online because it will all have been Amazon's fault, not Sony's.

    • by lev400 (1193967)
      Agreed. What does it matter what servers they used to attack from? Normaly attacks are done from zombie PC's or hacked web serers but guess they wanted a good connection to PSN etc. Also title is mis-leading. It should read "Servers Rented from Amazon Used In Sony Playstation Hack".
  • by identity0 (77976) on Sunday May 15, 2011 @12:09PM (#36133956) Journal

    An attack from Anonymous? Pshaw, yeah right.

    We all know Amazon really did the hack themselves, because they were mad they couldn't get Sony on the One-Click patent, since PS3 users don't use mice.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126)

      More like the loss of £80 per PS3 when they gave out refunds to people over the removal of OtherOS.

      Seriously though I doubt there is any love lost between Amazon and Sony.

  • Presumably, they chose Amazon's network as they were cheaper than renting time on a botnet. I'm intruiged as to the ramifications on the distributed computing black market as it were, whether it will force their prices down in this age of cheap computing (especially as none of the resources used are theirs per say) or they'll raise them as a charge for the anonymity Amazon and Google would never provide.
  • Good (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by JockTroll (996521)
    Would be cool to see Sony and Amazon sue the hell out of each other. A bit like two rapists/murderers buttfucking and then disemboweling each other. Unfortunately such huge corporations always reach some sort of agreement in these cases - smart thieves don't steal from each other. A shame, because watching them fighting it out, maybe sending their security teams to do battle in their rival's offices, while we laugh on the faces of grieving widows and throw dog feces at weeping orphans would be AWESOME.
  • by tgeek (941867) on Sunday May 15, 2011 @01:07PM (#36134310)
    Shame the hackers weren't Amazon Prime members - then they could have had everything they wanted in 2 days at no extra charge.
    • They probably are Amazon Prime members now. You'll see the $79 fee appear on your next CC bill*

      * assuming you own a PS3

  • If a large corporation's site like the Sony site could be so easily compromised, how are we supposed to guage the level of security of any other site? Another question, if the security of Sony was compromised by using Amazon in some way, doesn't that mean that those who use Amazon are potentially at just as much risk as those who were compromised at Sony? So let's say nono it's a completely different thing, how can you 100% guarantee that? On a more constructive note, how do we eliminate this kind of access
    • by V!NCENT (1105021)

      "If a large corporation's site like the Sony site could be so easily compromised, how are we supposed to guage the level of security of any other site?"
      You can't.

      "Another question, if the security of Sony was compromised by using Amazon in some way, doesn't that mean that those who use Amazon are potentially at just as much risk as those who were compromised at Sony?"
      No? Amazon has nothing to do with this. They just let you rent a PC.

      " So let's say nono it's a completely different thing, how can you 100% gu

  • In the future the attackers may want to go straight to this new hosting provider : http://www.hostedbacktrack.com/ [hostedbacktrack.com] All the required tools are already installed as they are planning on offering hosted BackTrack Operating Systems.
  • 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.

    And to think that by providing accurate information, I've been doing things wrong all this time.

  • Because the hack, and Amazons S3 outage occured at about the same time!

Excessive login or logout messages are a sure sign of senility.

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