Skip to main content

Hackers are leaning more heavily on cloud resources

(Image credit: Image Credit: Melpomene / Shutterstock)

Underground cloud services may seem like an oxymoron, but they are quite real, and criminals are using them to speed up attacks and leave very little room for compromised businesses to react.

This is according to a new report from cybersecurity firm Trend Micro, which found terabytes of internal business data and logins - including for Google, Amazon and PayPal - for sale on the dark web.

The logins are sold through access to the cloud logs (opens in new tab) where they’re stored. As a result, Trend Micro argues, more accounts are monetized and the time from compromise to the account actually being used for nefarious purposes is cut from weeks to days or hours.

Just as businesses enjoy the speed and scalability of cloud services, so do criminals; more computing power and bandwidth allows them to optimize their operations.

Criminals that buy the logs of cloud-based stolen data usually use the data for the purposes of secondary infection, with ransomware being one of the more popular choices.

The report argues that this is a new trend that may gain even more popularity in the future, and even create a “new type of cybercriminal”: an expert in data mining (opens in new tab) that uses machine learning to enhance pre-processing and extraction of information to maximize usefulness to potential buyers.

Trend Micro believes criminals will focus on standardizing their services and pricing.

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.