Sony allegedly launched 'illegal' DDoS attacks on websites

Sony is alleged to have launched denial-of-service attacks on file sharing sites using hundreds of servers based in Asia to prevent downloads of hacked files.

A report in Recode states that Sony has used Amazon's cloud to launch the attack from Tokyo and Singapore in order to render specific sites inaccessible, preventing users from being able to download files. A denial-of-service attack can overwhelm a website making it appear offline or overloaded to users, so that content cannot be accessed.

A spokesperson for Amazon denied that Sony was using their service in this way, but after 3 separate requests for confirmation from Register, ZDnet and Recode, Sony has neither confirmed or denied any such tactic being used. If Amazon services (AWS) were used to launch such attacks it would break their service agreements.

ZDNET received confirmation from Jennifer Stisa Granick, Director of Civil Liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society that companies are not permitted to counter-attack. By law a DoS/DDoS attack is a criminal act. Sony may have a partner providing services to help them deal with leaked files but we can't independently verify the nature of their setup nor confirm that the company would knowingly endorse such methods being used to stop illegal downloading.

If Sony were launching such attacks it would add more trouble for the company already struggling to contain the massive leak that has forced top executives to apologize for their private conversations. Hackers have also threatened employees and intimidated staff with new demands and we have yet to see the full extent of this attack, with more files being uploaded every week.

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