Report: Amazon EC2 servers used in PlayStation Network attacks

Another weekend's going by without any hint on the gamers' side over the status of the PlayStation Network, despite a brief memo to developers yesterday and a few whispers over the restoration of the internal developer-based network. In the meantime, a report has surfaced suggesting some of the attacks against Sony were carried out from rented Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) servers, on an anonymous account that has since been shut down.

The report from Bloomberg came from an individual who supplied this information on condition of anonymity. Hackers were able to use cloud computing servers to carry out the mass heist of personal information consisting of consumers' names, addresses, and credit card numbers. While Amazon explicitly forbids use of their servers for hacking purposes, the massive parallel computing power which also includes GPUs used by EC2 servers is very well suited for this purpose, as was demonstrated earlier this year for cracking wireless passwords.

While Amazon's EC2 servers are used for legitimate Internet icons such as Netflix, Foursquare, Reddit, and others, the question of data security and integrity on cloud servers comes into question when considering that just a few weeks ago, some customers lost data after the EC2 servers went down. In addition, in this case, the hackers were able to successfully obtain access to servers with fake information.

Amazon may be subpoenaed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as part of its investigation process, as was done to Sony. Sony's director of corporate communications and social media, Patrick Seybold - also the man behind the PlayStation Blog, refused to comment on this latest report.

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