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Over Rs 6 lakh attempted attacks on Mumbai cloud server honeypot

At least 678,013 login attempts were made on Mumbai cloud server honeypot making it the second biggest attack spread over a month, after Ohio, US, honeypot that recorded more than 950,000 login attempts during the same time period, among a total of 10 honeypots placed globally, global cyber security major Sophos said on Wednesday. This demonstrates how cybercriminals are automatically scanning for weak open cloud buckets.

A honeypot is a system intended to mimic likely targets of cyberattackers for security researchers to monitor cybercriminal behaviour. The first login attempt on the Mumbai honeypot was made within 55 minutes and 11 seconds of going live.

On average, the cloud servers were hit by 13 attempted attacks per minute, per honeypot. The honeypots were set-up in 10 of the most popular Amazon Web Services (AWS) data centres in the world, including California, Frankfurt, Ireland, London, Mumbai, Ohio, Paris, Sao Paulo, Singapore, and Sydney over a 30-day period.

Sophos announced the findings of its report, Exposed: Cyberattacks on Cloud Honeypots.

With businesses across the globe increasingly adopting Cloud technology, the report revealed the extent to which businesses migrating to hybrid and all-Cloud platforms are at risk. It has thus become vital for businesses to ensure compliance and to know what to protect.

“The aggressive speed and scale of attacks on devices demonstrates the use of botnets to target an organisation’s cloud platform. In some instances, it may be a human attacker. However, regardless of this, companies need to set a security strategy to protect what they are putting into the cloud,” said Sunil Sharma, managing director, sales at Sophos (India & SAARC).

However, multiple development teams within an organization and an ever-changing, auto-scaling environment make this difficult for IT security.

Key features in Sophos Cloud Optix include:

Smart Visibility - Automatic discovery of organization’s assets across AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) environments, via a single console, allowing security teams complete visibility into everything they have in the cloud and to respond and remediate security risks in minutes.

Continuous Cloud Compliance – Keeps up with continually changing compliance regulations and best practices policies by automatically detecting changes to cloud environments in near-time.

AI-Based Monitoring and Analytics - Shrinks incident response and resolution times from days or weeks to just minutes. The powerful artificial intelligence detects risky resource configurations and suspicious network behaviour with smart alerts and optional automatic risk remediation

"US’ Giant Military Contract Has a Hitch", Says Deap Ubhi, an Entrepreneur of Indian Descent.





The founder of a local search site “Burrp!”, Deap Ubhi is a lesser known entrepreneur.

He joined Amazon in 2014 and motivated start-ups and other organizations to embrace cloud computing products.

He in less than a couple of years left, on a journey to start a company that furnished technology to restaurants.

Later on, he joined a Pentagon effort to employ techies. He wished to make a super effective search engine and according to what he said, also to help American people.

But as it turns out, Ubhi’s part in the Pentagon has landed him right in midst of one of the most prominent federal IT contracts.

A $10 billion deal of getting cloud computing to Pentagon, attracted the top tech companies when the project was announced in 2017.

Microsoft, Amazon, IBM, Oracle and Google, all wanted to seal the deal in their own ways.



But there was a catch to it all; the contract would go to only ‘one’ cloud vendor. And Amazon happened to close the deal with the capability of fulfilling Pentagon’s demands.

This is where Ubhi came in, especially his ties with Amazon, a place where he now works again.

Oracle, who under no circumstances could have landed the deal, vehemently criticized the one-vendor attitude.

The organization is now fighting in a federal court about Ubhi’s alleged inclination towards Amazon and its effect on the said deal.

Before the suit was filed, Pentagon had no found no suspicious influence of Ubhi and hence kept evaluating the deal despite Oracle’s lawsuit.

Further on, more information about Ubhi was discovered and Pentagon declined a request for disclosing it.

The winner of the deal was to be announced in April. When contacted by Amazon, both Ubhi and Pentagon refused to comment.

Oracle didn’t comment on the issue outside the court but during the proceedings it mentioned Ubhi’s outspoken inclination towards Amazon by providing the proof of a tweet via Ubhi’s handle.

According to the White house press secretary, the president of the US is not a part of this war of the vendors.



President Trump has never been involved in a government contract before so if he as much as even points at something regarding this situation it would be a first.

The cloud contract is being overseen by a Defense Department Procurement Official, commonly known as the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI).

The detection of the officials who’s actually chose the winner has not been made yet.

The Pentagon’s transition to cloud computing is being seen to by a team directed by the chief information officer, Dana Deasy.

Cloud computing would contribute a lot in the battlefield and hence the American government is keen on giving the contract to the best.

Reportedly, for some time Ubhi worked on a market research for JEDI while he was working at Pentagon.

Oracle in the court cited the internal documents where Ubhi articulated support towards a single cloud approach.

Oracle also thinks Ubhi had something to do with the decision to select a single cloud provider.



In return, Amazon said that Ubhi worked on JEDI only for seven weeks that too at the early stages and that there were over 70 people involved in the development.

Amazon and Ubhi’s ‘Tablehero’ were to engage in a partnership of which there is no proof as yet. Ubhi hasn’t been replying to the emails of investors either.

Pentagon mentioned that the single cloud would let the movement be faster and ensure more security. This statement was later asserted by the Government Accountability Office.

Both IBM and oracle filed heavy protests against the Government accountability Office which was later denied in Oracle’s case and rejected for IBM.

Oracle, which has a small cloud market shares, then took the issue to the federal courts of the US.

The Oracle lawsuit stands to profit Microsoft as it now has improved capabilities and hence could be a strong competitor to Amazon.

It doesn’t matter whether Ubhi molded the contract. Pentagon’s justifications support its decision to use a single cloud approach.

The major motivation behind the decision has always been helping the defense make better data driven decisions.

Multi-factor authentication bypassed to hack Office 365 & G Suite Cloud accounts



Massive IMAP-based password-spraying attacks successfully breached Microsoft Office 365 and G Suite accounts, circumventing multi-factor authentication (MFA) according to an analysis by Proofpoint.

As noted by Proofpoint's Information Protection Research Team in a recent report, during a "recent six-month study of major cloud service tenants, Proofpoint researchers observed attackers are targeting legacy protocols with stolen credential dumps to increase the speed and efficiency of the brute force attacks.

Based on Proofpoint study, IMAP is the most abused protocol, IMAP is the protocol that bypasses MFA and lock-out options for failed logins.

This technique takes advantage of the fact that the legacy authentication IMAP protocol bypasses MFA, allowing malicious actors to perform credential stuffing attacks against assets that would have been otherwise protected.

These intelligent new brute force attacks bring a new approach to the traditional normal brute force attack that uses the combination of usernames and passwords.

Based on the Proofpoint analysis of over one hundred thousand unauthorized logins across millions of monitored cloud user-accounts and found that:

▬ 72% of tenants were targeted at least once by threat actors
▬ 40% of tenants had at least one compromised account in their environment
▬ Over 2% of active user-accounts were targeted by malicious actors
▬ 15 out of every 10,000 active user-accounts were successfully breached by attackers

Their analysis unearthed the fact that around 60% of all Microsoft Office 365 and G Suite tenants have been targeted using IMAP-based password-spraying attacks and, as a direct result, approximately 25% of G Suite and Office 365 tenants that were attacked also experienced a successful breach.

On the whole, after crunching down the numbers, Proofpoint reached the conclusion that threat actors managed to reach a surprising 44% success rate when it came to breaching accounts at targeted organizations.

The ultimate aim of the attackers is to launch internal phishing and to have a strong foothold within the organization. Internal phishing attempts are hard to detect when compared to the external ones.

Vulnerabilities in High-Performance Computer Chips; Leading To Failures in Modern Electronics



Researchers from Washington State University found vulnerabilities in the high performance computer chip. They found that the on-chip communication system affects the lifetime of entire computer chip shortening it fundamentally by purposely including the malignant workload.

Apple and Samsung are not far behind as they too have been blamed for misusing the vulnerabilities in their very own hardware and sending software updates that purposefully slow down the prior phone models to urge customers to buy the new products.

Notwithstanding of the past researchers having contemplated the computer chip parts, similar to the processors, the computer memory and circuits for security vulnerabilities still the WSU research team has discovered huge vulnerabilities in the modern communications backbone of the high performance computer chips.

The communication systems are of extreme importance to the high performance computers as they are thusly created to utilize an expansive number of processors and in particular the parallel processing and cloud computing.

Now so as to test the communications systems the researchers have conceived three "cunningly built malicious" attacks. They found that a predetermined number of pivotal vertical links of the communication system were especially 'vulnerable to fail'.

Pande, a researcher of Indian origin who alongside the other researchers found the vulnerabilities in the first place says,
 “We determined how an agent can target the communication system to start malfunctions in the chip.The role of the communications and the threat had not been clear to the research community before.”

The specialists have now begun attempting to create different courses down the lines of automated techniques and algorithms to moderate the issue and to attempt and identify as well as thwart the attacks.