If you’re online in any form or fashion without some sort of anti-malware security system in place, your devices and data are no more than a ticking clock counting down to when you are hacked.
While cybersecurity practices and research are making advances every day, so are the threats they face. Hackers have gone from geeky teenagers in the 1980s trying to find a backdoor into computer systems just to say they could to genuine criminals and terrorists whose main purposes are to steal data, make money, and create havoc.
Use of the cloud to store data, use software and host entire businesses is one of the largest innovations in digital technology’s history. In fact, cloud technology is growing at a rate seven times as fast as the rest of IT.
One of the biggest problems with using the cloud is that it’s a dead giveaway that companies are keeping valuable things in that environment. That means cloud security has to be amazing in order to stop all the potential threats.
What sort of attacks have been levied at cloud security and how have they evolved over time? Here’s a closer look at how attacks on cloud security have evolved over the years.
Cloud malware injection attacks: These attacks have the sole purpose of taking control of a user’s credential inside a cloud environment. They accomplish that by infecting a component of software as a service (SaaS) or platform as a service (PaaS). If the component makes it past cloud security, the user’s requests will redirect to the hacker’s module where they can drop in malicious code and take control.
Cloud service abuse: Cheap cloud providers can offer tiny costs to users because they scrimp on security and monitoring. A smart hacker can rent space on these types of services and use them to levy brute force attacks on users, companies, or even other cloud providers. Giving cybercriminals cheap use of almost unlimited resources is never a good idea.
Man-in-the-cloud attacks: Some clouds have vulnerabilities in their synchronization token system. Hackers can replace the token with a new one that provides them access, so when the next synchronization time comes, their token replaces the real one and they have access. They can even put the original token back once they have access and continue unlimited abuse of any compromised accounts.
Side-channel attacks: This one is really tricky. Hackers put a malicious virtual machine on the same host as the virtual machine they are targeting. Then they target system implementations of cryptographic algorithms. If they’re successful, they gain total access to the target. But a security system design will completely neutralize this type of attack.
Specter and Meltdown: These are two of the latest cloud-centric cyberattacks. They use malicious Java code to read encrypted data from a machine’s kernel. It occurs when hackers break the isolation existing between applications and the machine’s operating system. This is a weakness shared by most current processors and thus difficult to control if cloud users don’t update to the latest security patches.