For 26 long days, PlayStation 3 gamers were greeted by the same message when they tried to log on to the gaming system's online network: "PlayStation® Network is currently undergoing maintenance." That was, of course, only partially true: The network was actually trying to cope with a devastating hack attack that shut down the entire network, cost the company untold millions of dollars in lost revenues and users, and put millions of gamers' credit-card numbers at risk of being sold online.
And now, on the same day that the PSN servers were finally brought back online in North America, we learn the likely origins of the hack.Bloomberg reports that "a person with knowledge of the matter" has confirmed that the PSN attack attributed to the infamous hack group Anonymous was launched from a rented Amazon cloud server.
Hackers using an alias signed up to rent a server through Amazon's EC2 service and launched the attack from there, said the person, who requested anonymity because the information is confidential. The account has been shut down, the person said.
So far neither Amazon nor Sony is commenting about the origins of the hack. But if the hackers did use Amazon servers, they apparently did so quite easily, having signed up the same way as any legitimate user would, only with fake information.
To the cloud!