An anonymous source says the recent Sony attacks were partially enabled by the use of Amazon’s web services.
Sony is in the homestretch of the hack attack debacle, finally having begun to restore service, but the questions still remain of who did it, why they did it, and how they did it. According to rumor, one of the techniques used to invade Sony’s servers was by going through Amazon.
Amazon provides a service called Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) that basically allows anyone to rent cloud-based computing power. Bloomberg reports that an anonymous source “with knowledge of the matter” says that EC2 services were used to attack Sony.
The attackers used fake information to rent servers through EC2 and “launched the attack from there,” Bloomberg writes. The EC2 account has since been shut down.
Law enforcement hasn’t yet named Amazon as part of the investigation into the Sony attacks. Using rented servers in this manner is apparently common.
The person “with knowledge of the matter” could always be schizophrenic Fred that lives in the Pizza Shack dumpster down the street, so this information is not confirmed. You would think that Amazon’s services would be easily traceable. However, if true, this is a case of a group of people taking a service meant for good and using it for evil instead, and I’m pretty sure that’s never happened before.