Sony Corporation has launched a counterattack against torrent websites sharing its stolen data. The company is reportedly using Amazon.com Inc.’s cloud services to target torrents released by the hackers who crippled the corporate network of its entertainment arm, Sony Pictures Entertainment, late last month.
Sony is using hundreds of computers throughout Asia to execute denial of service (DDoS) attacks against file-sharing sites that allow people to download its stolen data, according to a report from Re/code published Tuesday. The site says Sony is paying Amazon Web Services (AWS) to carry out the attack.
Update: An Amazon spokesperson has called DDoS attacks a "misuse of our services," and says that Sony's anti-torrent methods are "not currently happening." The full text of the statement follows.
“AWS employs a number of automated detection and mitigation techniques to prevent the misuse of our services. In cases where the misuse is not detected and stopped by the automated measures, we take manual action as soon as we become aware of any misuse. Our terms are clear about this. The activity being reported is not currently happening on AWS.”
November's massive security breach had allowed hackers to make off with revealing company emails, sensitive financial data and copies of films -- some not yet released -- from Sony Pictures Entertainment. The hackers, who call themselves Guardians of Peace, or GOP, say that the data dumps are retaliation against Sony for producing “The Interview,” a comedy depicting the assassination of Kim Jong-un.
The group has threatened to continue releasing company data unless Sony agrees to cancel the film’s release. People who attempted to download GOP’s data encountered extremely slow download speeds, the report said, pointing out that the tactic was once commonly used to thwart film and music piracy.
The hackers claim to have nearly 100 terabytes of Sony Pictures’ corporate data, and are slowly releasing portions of it online through file-sharing sites. So far, the hackers have revealed emails exchanged between Sony executives, producers and other members of the film industry, as well as five feature films, four of which have not yet been released in theaters.
The data also purportedly contains information about sensitive financial deals between Sony and its corporate partners, which could hurt its relationships with them, the Re/code report said.