Cloud Synch Apps Help Malware Distribution

Over the past month, the cloud security experts have seen more and more malware spreading from one computer to another in a fan-out effect. According to the specialists, this is due to the file-sharing and file-syncing applications.

The newly-discovered malware is distributed via cloud accounts and it varies from simple worms to complex ransomware. Usually, the malware is only copied, and PC users still need to execute it.

Security experts claim that the cases they detected looked more like accidents, however, there have been lots of them. According to the report, 4.1% of all the cloud-based applications have been linked with some kind of malware.

In addition, the researchers say that they’ve scanned only sanctioned (official) cloud apps, which represent only about 5% of the total of cloud-based applications, and that the total number of cloud apps that are bundled with malware, or contribute to the spreading of malware, may be much higher than 4.1%, which is really disturbing.

Nowadays, lots of people praise cloud-based services because of their boost in productivity, however, the above-mentioned security report should be considered as a very disturbing fact, and companies should be very careful where they deploy such applications in the future.

PC users and system administrators usually see only the positive features which cloud-based apps can bring. However, lots of these people fail to see how these applications can be abused to spread malware.

For instance, Dropbox was used for spreading spam for dating websites last December, while a Chinese-based state-sponsored cyber-espionage group have used it in the past to hide their C&C servers.

Due to its 99.99% guaranteed uptime record, malware creators are starting to target and integrate these services as a core component in their malware.

Considering all the above-mentioned, it’s no wonder to face a ransomware family which specifically targets OneDrive, Google Drive, or Dropbox sync folders in order to spread malware to other virtual machines.

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