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What are Ransomcloud Attacks?

Ransomware attacks are cyberattacks that use malware to compromise a user’s device, such as a desktop, laptop, or mobile device. The ransomware encrypts the user’s data so that they can no longer access it, and then they typically spread the ransomware to other computers on the network- inflicting the same damage on every device, even on servers and data backup storage systems.

Ransomware attacks on cloud storage (ransomcloud attacks) extend beyond traditional ransomware attacks by encrypting data on unprotected cloud email services, remote cloud drives, and cloud-based backup solutions. As cloud security is a shared responsibility, security weaknesses on either side- the cloud provider or the user-side- can provide opportunities for cyberattacks. The following are some of the techniques and vulnerabilities that cyberattackers leverage for ransomcloud attacks:

Malvertising. Malicious advertising is referred to as “malvertising.” Malvertising is a cyberattack technique that injects malicious code within digital ads. These cyberattacks are difficult to detect because these ads are often provided to consumers through legitimate advertising networks. As they are displayed to all visitors to a website, they are particularly harmful as they put every page viewer at risk of infection.

Phishing and malware. Phishing is the most popular technique for ransomware and ransomcloud attacks. In a phishing attack, cyberattackers convince victims to click on malicious links or download malicious files. This can happen through social engineering techniques, where cyberattackers pose as legitimate contacts and request sensitive information, such as log in credentials.

File sync piggybacking. File sync piggybacking uses phishing techniques to infect a victim’s computer with ransomcloud malware. After embedding into the system, a pop-up instructs the victim to grant permissions to a known and trusted software. Once the victim grants the permission, the malware activates, spreads across the network, scans for file sync services that interact with cloud services, piggybacks onto the file sync, and then infiltrates cloud data.

Cloud service/account compromise. Cyberattackers can use a number of techniques, such as social engineering techniques, to access and take control over a user’s cloud-based email or cloud service accounts. Once they do, they can access sensitive information, install backdoors, and more.

Lack of Endpoint Protection (EPP). EPP is a security solution that detects and blocks threats at the network endpoints. Devices without EPP are vulnerable to ransomcloud attacks.

Lack of security training. Employees are common targets of social engineering and phishing attacks. Employees who lack training on cyber threats and cyber hygiene are less likely to identify suspicious emails and are, therefore, less likely to prevent cyberattacks.

Cloud provider security. If a cyberattacker hits a cloud service provider with a ransomcloud attack, the entire cloud platform can be compromised and they could demand ransom from every customer. Due to the shared responsibility of cybersecurity in cloud infrastructure, customers, cloud vendors, and managed cloud service providers must all do their parts to ensure the strength of cloud provider security.