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Mumbai cloud server honeypot hit with more than 678,000 attempted attacks over 30-day period: Sophos

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Sophos today announced the findings of its report, Exposed: Cyberattacks on Cloud Honeypots, which reveals that cybercriminals attacked one of the cloud server honeypots within 0:55:11 minutes of going live in Mumbai, India, which was second to Ohio, US, in the number of login attempts made, from a total of 10 honeypots placed worldwide.  Sophos’ study of 10 cloud honeypots placed worldwide for 30 days reveals the need for visibility and security to protect what businesses put into hybrid and all-cloud platforms

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. A honeypot is a system intended to mimic likely targets of cyberattackers, so that security researchers can monitor cybercriminal behaviors.

Key Report Findings:

  • 678,013 login attempts made on Mumbai cloud server honeypot, second to Ohio, US, honeypot that recorded more than 950,000 login attempts
  • Time to first login attempt to Mumbai honeypot was 0:55:11 minutes
  • Cloud server honeypots across 10 global locations attacked within 40 minutes, on average
  • Cloud servers were subjected to 13 attempted attacks per minute, per honeypot, on average
  • More than 5 million attempted attacks on all cloud server honeypots in a 30-day period
  • 123456 was the most used password by cybercriminals for login attempts globally

In the study, more than 5 million attacks were attempted on the global network of honeypots in the 30-day period, demonstrating how cybercriminals are automatically scanning for weak open cloud buckets. If attackers are successful at gaining entry, organizations could be vulnerable to data breaches. Cybercriminals also use breached cloud servers as pivot points to gain access onto other servers or networks.

“With businesses across the globe increasingly adopting cloud technology, the Sophos report, Exposed: Cyberattacks on Cloud Honeypots, reveals the extent to which businesses migrating to hybrid and all-cloud platforms are at risk. 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, India & SAARC, Sophos.

“Sophos is addressing the issue of visibility and security within the public cloud with their latest launch Sophos Cloud Optix, the newest innovation that integrates artificial intelligence to highlight and mitigate the gaps in cloud infrastructures.” he further added. Sophos Cloud Optix is an agentless solution that provides intelligent cloud visibility, automatic compliance regulation detection and threat response across multiple cloud environments.

Continuous visibility of public cloud infrastructure is vital for businesses to ensure compliance and to know what to protect. However, multiple development teams within an organization and an ever-changing, auto-scaling environment make this difficult for IT security.

“Instead of inundating security teams with a massive number of undifferentiated alerts, Sophos Cloud Optix significantly minimizes alert fatigue by identifying what is truly meaningful and actionable,” said Ross McKerchar, CISO, Sophos. “In addition, with visibility into cloud assets and workloads, IT security can have a far more accurate picture of their security posture that allows them to prioritize and proactively remediate the issues flagged in Sophos Cloud Optix.”


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