Hackers used Amazon’s Elastic Cloud Computing service to wage an attack on Sony’s PlayStation network last month, according to a report by Bloomberg News. If it’s true, it’s the first acknowledgement that a cloud service — billed as a cheap, dynamic solution for safely storing data and ramping up processing power — has been used as a platform for a cyber attack.
Bloomberg cites “a person with knowledge of the matter,” who said a hacker used a fake name to set up a bogus Amazon EC2 account. Amazon’s servers were not hacked; rather, someone purchased computing power and used it to attack Sony’s network, compromising the personal information of 100 million users.
Amazon’s Web Services division allows users to buy processing power and space so they don’t need their own physical servers. EC2 prices range from 3 cents to $2.48 an hour for users on the East Coast, depending on your data needs; details can be found on Amazon’s website.
Extra computing power could also enable hackers to crack passwords and obtain other information more efficiently, as Bloomberg’s report explains.