Top threats to the cloud – Part 2
Our last post introduced you to some of the major threats to a Cloud-based Infrastructure. Here, we will continue to examine those threats.
In this type of attack scenario, the end user’s information and data is intercepted by a malicious third party; and is intentionally altered, thereby compromising the integrity of that particular information and data. This results in losing the integrity of that information and data.
Denial of Service
The primary objective of this type of attack is to constantly overload and bombard both the physical and virtual servers up to the point they cannot operate anymore and shut down. This deprives the end user of their IT assets and IT resources.
Here is how a denial of service attack could conceivably work:
- The physical servers and the virtual servers are bombarded with malformed data packets.
- Subsequently, the network traffic is reduced, and responsiveness is choked off between the Internet Service Provider and the end user connectivity to their IT assets and IT resources.
- Next, the memory of both the physical and the virtual servers is slowed by processing the malformed data packets and then shuts down, thus cutting off all types of access.
This threat occurs when an attacker is granted access by a mistake made by the Internet Service Provider. The mistake gives them access to all of the physical and virtual servers and all IT assets and resources. Another type of attack of this kind is known as “weak authentication.” This occurs when weak passwords are being used by the end user to access their specific IT assets and resources.
Because of the nature of the Cloud Computing Infrastructure, the end user has (to a certain degree) full administrative privileges. Because of this inherent risk, the end user can become a Cloud computing infrastructure threat in of themselves.
The virtualization attack takes advantage of the weaknesses of the confidentiality, integrity and availability of the virtual servers which reside within the Cloud computing infrastructure, which can become a threat to the end user.
Overlapping Threat Boundaries
With a Cloud computing infrastructure, all of the IT assets and resources are shared amongst one another. Given this shared resource nature, an end user who has an extensive IT background and a strong malicious intent can easily take advantage of the vulnerability of shared resources, launch an attack, and corrupt the information. They can even bring down the virtual servers of other end users.
The goal in this threat is to target the overlapping trust boundaries between the various Cloud computing infrastructures that exist at the Internet Service Provider.
In our next post, we examine some of the major mechanisms that help make a Cloud-based infrastructure run smoothly.