Saturday, June 11, 2011

Amazon EC2 Proxies

Back on Proxy Obsession, before I was so ignominiously bounced from GoDaddy, I mentioned an Irish proxy that was stable and fast. The IP belonged to Amazon Advanced Web Services, having a hostname ending in

I didn't think much about it at the time, other than to mention it, but it appears there are lots of folks putting up "private"—or so they believe—proxies on Amazon's "Elastic Compute Cloud" (a.k.a "EC2") service.

Well, surprise, they're not private and the proxy listers have been hunting and posting them for a long time, if my database is any indication.

I have them going back to 2008, when the list started, but there's been a lot of growth in this segment since 2010.

They're all either in Dublin or Seattle (with one outlier in Singapore), so that in itself is a dead giveaway. But GeoIP can't locate them all, so you really have to go by a reverse DNS lookup to tell for sure.

Here's a small sample of the DNS names I have collected...

Now, I have no idea whether these folks are violating Amazon's Terms of Service by doing this, and I really don't care whether they are or not, but there is all kinds of "HOWTO" information published on the Web on setting up a free EC2 proxy. Try this search, for example.

In fact the only reason I mention it now is Amazon's role in the recent SONY attack. Take for instance this Bloomberg report...
For three pennies an hour, hackers can rent Inc’s servers to wage cyber attacks such as the one that crippled Sony Corp’s PlayStation Network and led to the second-largest online data breach in U.S. history.  A hacker used Amazon’s Elastic Computer Cloud, or EC2, service to attack Sony’s online entertainment systems last month, a person with knowledge of the matter said May 13. The intruder, who used a bogus name to set up an account that’s now disabled, didn’t hack into Amazon’s servers...
So... there you have it.

With that in mind, I am now marking the IP address of EC2 proxies with a cross (†) on the proxy list. There aren't a lot of them, but they're in there.

Don't use them if you don't want to attract attention to yourself.


  1. Anonymous12:18 AM

    Nice Article....
    The Amazon Route 53 global network of DNS servers is designed to automatically respond from the optimal network location, resulting in low DNS query latency for end users.We have developed a Desktop tool for this interface – DNS30 Professional Edition.

  2. Sort of a spammy comment but at least you're marginally on topic.

  3. i like how you left it because it was close enough on topic... have you thought of publishing your list in json/xml with some push service? thad be awesome