Thursday Threat Report: iCloud hacks show public cloud weakness, and the OS X iWorm burrows deeper

Welcome to ITProPortal's Thursday Threat Report, where we round up the three greatest security threats facing Internet users, smooth-running enterprise, and occasionally even the survival of the world as we know it. Hold onto your hats - things are about to get scary.

Jewel be sorry

The attacks we've recently seen on iCloud users are not particularly sophisticated, but are very hard to protect against. Apple runs a very successful public cloud infrastructure and has to balance security with availability and usability.

This is a well-known problem in security circles, but has now come to the forefront of many more users' minds. That's why Adrian Crawley of Radware advises companies not to keep their "crown jewels" in a public cloud. It's just not a good idea, people!

Yahoo's laughing now?

Yahoo has said that a small number of its servers which were breached weren't, in fact, exploited via the Shellshock (Bash) bug. So is that a good thing?

Shellshock is a gaping hole which popped up on the security radar at the end of last month, and was loudly proclaimed as worse than Heartbleed (a wide-sweeping vulnerability which caused massive waves earlier this year). It affects the shell (hence the name) of a computer, specifically the Bash component, leaving many Linux, Unix, and OS X systems open to being exploited unless they're patched.

At first Yahoo had thought a breach discovered on several of its servers was due to Shellshock, but C-Net spotted a blog post from Alex Stamos, CISO at Yahoo, which noted that it wasn't the widespread vulnerability after all.

The OS X iWorm turns

A Russian security firm has highlighted a new piece of malware which has struck some 17,000 Macs across the globe.

The Mac computer and OS X platform is often viewed as a secure haven, particularly when compared to the threats aimed at the far more widespread Windows, but Mac users are treading a thinner and thinner line if they view their machines as impervious to security threats.

The security company, Dr Web, wrote a blog post about the malware Mac.BackDoor.iWorm, which it discovered last month.

It has infected and built up a botnet of more than 17,600 Macs as of the last week of September, and it gives the attacker remote backdoor access to the target machine, allowing for various commands to be issued to a wide range of potential ends (from further malware infection of the host, or swiping data, through to spreading infections to other Macs, spamming and so forth).