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Threat Intelligence

12/26/2018
03:00 PM
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Attackers Use Google Cloud to Target US, UK Banks

Employees at financial services firms hit with an email attack campaign abusing a Google Cloud storage service.

A malicious email campaign has been found abusing a Google Cloud Storage service to host a payload sent to employees of financial services organizations, Menlo Labs researchers report.

The threat appears to have been active in the US and UK since August 2018. Victims receive emails containing links to archive files; researchers say all instances in this particular campaign have been .zip or .gz files. All cases involve a payload hosted on storage.googleapis.com, which appears to be related to Google's cloud storage service but is, in fact, a malicious link.

Attackers often use this domain to host payloads because it's trusted and likely to bypass security controls in commercial threat detection products. These actors may have chosen bad links in lieu of malicious attachments because many email security products are designed to detect files and only pick up on malicious URLs if they're already in their threat repositories.

The use of a link resembling Google's cloud storage service is a form of "reputation jacking," a tactic in which attackers abuse well-known hosting services to evade detection. It's a growing trend, researchers say: In its annual analysis of the top 100,000 domains as ranked by Alexa, Menlo Labs found 4,600 phishing sites that used legitimate hosting services.

Google has responded to the report. "We regularly remove malware on Google Cloud Storage, and our automated systems suspended the malware referred to in this report," a spokesperson says. Further, account holders who suspect abuse can report it via Google's site.

Read more details here.

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DavidHamilton
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DavidHamilton,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/10/2019 | 11:33:58 PM
Cloud storage perks and cons
Cloud storage has its pros and cons and when it is being utilized on a large scale by organisations, they ought to review the security aspects of it. The amount of data that is being uploaded online is massive and they should be noted that, that particular set of data is actually going to remain in the digital realm for good. If they are willing to grasp this concept, then only should they utilize the cloud facility, else they should really just stick to traditional data storage means.
REISEN1955
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REISEN1955,
User Rank: Ninja
1/3/2019 | 10:05:32 AM
Re: Security practice
Gee, what a surprise?  Hackers using the cloud, imagine that.  Give them ANY open door and they are happy to enter any way they can.  The cloud, long vaunted, is one such door.  Anybody remember the words of dear WOZniak ages ago - there is NO security in the cloud.  A lamented savant of the truth. 
markgrogan
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markgrogan,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/2/2019 | 11:30:06 PM
Security practice
Are you really surfside that people would try to do this with a cloud-based storage system? Of course there are hackers everywhere who are going to try and get all of this information out of the cloud to use for their own advantage! We just need to take that information and translate it into better security practices!
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