Amazon Doubles as Cloud-Based Malware Host

Today, IT security firm Solutionary released their quarterly threat report, placing Amazon Web Services (Amazon’s cloud hosting arm) at the top of the list as the most popular source for malware distribution and attacks throughout North America.

The damning report comes shortly after hackers supposedly utilized the Amazon cloud host to scrape the details and information of millions of users on the professional networking website LinkedIn.

“The cloud has become a preferred mode for malicious actors who are using cloud computing for many of the same reasons that legitimate customers are. Malware and, more specifically, its distributors are using the technologies and services that make processes, application deployment and website creation easier.”

Washington Post

By hosting their dastardly programming on respectable cloud services such as Amazon, hackers are able to hide behind the guise of respectability all while distributing malicious code globally at a fraction of the cost. According to the report, they even have the capability to employ mass networks to brute force their way through encrypted passwords, cracking 8-character alphanumeric credentials for as little as $45 through the online service.

Amazon has done its best to fight back against this forms of abuse, setting up an email address that anyone can report to if they suspect that their malware came directly from the AWS cloud. In an official response to the allegations raised by Solutionary’s engineers, Amazon made their stance on the issue clear:

“We take security very seriously, and investigate all reported vulnerabilities.”