Malware Developers Have Their Heads in Cloud

Malware attacks were at an all time high just a few years ago. Since the release of Windows 7, Windows 8 and the adoption of other popular operating systems in the desktop environment, Malware creators had to keep up the times and develop new methods of delivering an attack. Since everything is becoming cloud-centric, it would only make sense that malware developers have now begun using the cloud as a point of attack.

Malware creators use the cloud in a variety of ways. For example, someone with malicious intent could hack a vulnerable script on a website, somehow gain administrator access and use the cloud server that the website is hosted upon as a distribution point for malicious software. The creator could also infect code on the site that will then attempt to transmit the malicious code down to the visitors of that site. The site may appear to be legitimate but the webmaster may not know about the breach until a significant number of people are infected. If the cloud is robust, the malicious person could attempt to spin up additional virtual machines on the cloud and turn the once friendly cloud into bot-net that sends out DDoS attacks to unsuspecting targets.
Since large cloud IaaS providers are located all over the world, Malware creators are using features meant for legitimate customers in order to begin circumventing regional content filters.  By piggybacking off of the brand name of the cloud providers, the malware publishers use this as means to scale their operation into different datacenters all across the world. Solutionary is a research firm that recently released a report saying, “The cloud has become a preferred mode for malicious actors who are using cloud computing for many of the same reasons that legitimate customers are.” Many security companies have released products for the cloud or plan on doing so in the future. For example, Barracuda recently released their Software as a Service model that helps protect clouds from malicious activities.