Some 60% of major US firms have been hacked in cloud: study


  • TECH
  • Friday, 27 Sep 2019

In analysing some 20 million user accounts in more than 1,000 cloud deployments, a study found 92% of the Fortune 500 companies surveyed were targeted by cyberattacks. — AFP Relaxnews

Hackers have penetrated cloud computing networks of some 60% of top US companies, with virtually all industry sectors hit, security researchers said on Sept 24.

Researchers at the enterprise security firm Proofpoint said they detected over 15 million unauthorised login attempts to cloud computing networks of US Fortune 500 firms in the first six months of 2019, of which 400,000 were successful.

"While it only takes one compromised account to achieve wide-ranging effects in an organisation, attempted unauthorised logins were pervasive across industries," Proofpoint researchers said in a blog post.

In analysing some 20 million user accounts in more than 1,000 cloud deployments, the study found 92% of the Fortune 500 companies surveyed were targeted by cyberattacks.

It found 60% of the companies had allowed attackers into their cloud networks and 6% had an unauthorised login to an executive account.

Attackers appeared to target all sectors, the researchers said, but appeared to be more successful in education and food and beverage sectors. Regulated industries such as healthcare and financial services fared better, with "significantly lower rates of successful attacks", Proofpoint said.

Sales representatives and managers appeared to be most frequently targeted, possibly because their emails tend to be publicly available and their positions give them wide-ranging access.

Proofpoint said when attackers gain access, this often leads to "lateral expansion" – such as spamming or phishing to get even deeper access to networks, and "large credential dumps" that can allow more cybercriminals to access the compromised networks. – AFP Relaxnews

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