Cloud: the new cybercrime frontier?

Cloud Computing

The cloud technology is relatively new but that hasn’t stopped people from flocking towards it in droves. But as with all thing tech based, with great user-ship comes great peril, and the cloud is no different. Of late, several firms have moved their services and software to cloud because it makes their lives easier in general. And they aren’t the only ones trusting cloud to make their lives easier, it would appear that hackers have the same idea pretty much. There’s a plethora of pc monitoring software and cell phone spy apps out there helping hackers and cyber criminals alike get access to data that they have no business touching. But the sad part is that they’re not using a malware or spyware to get into private data, they’re using the cloud infrastructure itself.

How the cookie crumbles

McAfee and the Guardian Analytics released a report a few days ago which seems to confirm the fact that cloud based services are indeed coming under fire. Cyber criminals have been launching campaigns against large banks and funneling out money through cloud services. The report outlined that phishing emails and other tactics were to blame where users gave up their own account passwords. From these emails Trojans the likes of SpyEye and Zeus found their way into the system of the user. And like everything else, the process itself has evolved too with attacks now being generated from the server instead of the user’s computer. People get themselves hacked in real time instead of waiting for the bomb to go off. Malware or spyware can’t do any real damage if you lose your connection to the internet, but functioning from the cloud server itself means no disruptions or problems for the hackers whatsoever. They get in, they get out, and it’s just another day at the park for them.

Don’t always believe what you see

Much of the malware functions with great stealth, just like any pc monitoring software does. When the user at hand opens their bank’s website to sign into their account, the malware tricks them into using the overlay instead and grabbing their information. So let’s supposed you transfer money from your account to your wife’s account, if the malware is present on your system the money gets transferred to the criminal’s account instead. This entire process has moved from a user’s own system onto a cloud server making the cloud platform the newest addition to the cybercrime playfield. Hackers use ISPs which are frequently relocated and function under loose policies, making them ideal for the purpose.

The speed at which cloud technology is booming can’t really surprise anyone. It’s easy to use, convenient and in terms of cost cutting it’s a god sent for most firms. But it truly is surprising to see hackers go hi-fi on it. Steps need to taken to ensure that the cloud infrastructure is made more robust and secure. This is only the beginning; cybercriminals could go as far as using cloud based services for heavy botnet attacks and other disruptions. Time will tell whether cloud based services will become more secure or whether they will end up dealing fatal blows to users at the hands of all the wrong people.

Author Bio: James Clark has been writing about Employee Monitoring Software for quite a bit of his career. His articles have been a source of information for those looking to find out more about the latest Computer Spy Software and he’s helped many tackle their privacy and security issues along the way.