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Sony counterhacks its stolen digital goods to prevent illegal downloads

Updated Dec 11th, 2014 1:52PM EST
Sony Hack: Leaked Downloads

Sony Pictures has been the victim of an elaborate cyber attack, with hackers having been able to steal 100 terabytes of data from the company’s Internet-connected computer network. However, in addition to investigating the data breach, Sony is not afraid to fight back, Re/code has learned, as the company is using certain weapons to try to prevent others from downloading its digital goods.

FROM EARLIER: Sony’s hacking nightmare just got even more disastrous

The publication has learned that the company is using hundreds of computers in Asia to “execute what’s known as a denial of service attack [DDoS] on sites where its pilfered data is available.”

Apparently, Sony is relying on Amazon Web Services servers in Tokyo and Singapore to deliver the counterattack, according to a source familiar with the matter.

The company has used the same tactic in the early days of Internet movie and music piracy fighting, although download sites managed to eventually beat denial of service attacks from media companies trying to protect their copyrighted content from being downloaded in such a manner.

Following this massive data breach, hackers made available online several Sony movies, including unreleased titles, as well as various employee personal data and Sony business-related files which can hurt the company’s future plans and bottom line.

UPDATE: An Amazon spokesperson told BGR that AWS resources aren’t used by Sony as described by Re/code. “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,” a company spokesperson said.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.