The number of Brute Force attacks conducted on cloud and hosting environments rose by 14 per cent in 12 months, as attackers looked for vulnerable systems.
According to research by managed service provider Alert Logic, the number of detected brute force attacks climbed from 30 per cent to 44 per cent of customers. Drawing data from 232,364 incidents, the statistics also showed that the number of vulnerability scans against data centres and hosting environments increased by 17 per cent in the period between April and September 2013.
Talking to IT Security Guru, Stephen Coty, chief security evangelist at Alert Logic said that this is not a sophisticated exploit, but often it can be a pre-cursor to a targeted attack. “The attacker looks for a flaw on a credential failure and then exploits it with vulnerable code and uses a botnet,” he said.
“There are attacks on the data centre and also on cloud hosts. Often they use multiple logins against an individual host and on the cloud service provider.”
Looking at the rise in the number of vulnerability scans, Coty said that botnets are used here, but Alert Logic watches the actions, tracks the data and whitelists the IP space so it can see when an attacker is scanning for vulnerabilities.
Deploying honeypots in public cloud infrastructures around the world to observe attack types and frequency, Alert Logic also found that the highest number of attacks have been localised to Europe. Coty said that these honeypots are deployed across service providers to get a sample of attacks. “Europe was very unique as most organisations suffer the highest volume of attacks, but they also see the most diverse types,” he said.