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According to an article published on the Cloud Pro website, recent claims from security authorities in Europe state that cyber-criminals have accelerated in their use of the cloud to launch attacks and exploit vulnerabilities. The article indicates that these attackers have begun to leverage "the power of the cloud to avoid detection_" and take advantage of _ "off-premise systems_" and their benefits. As the report states, "_the cloud makes distribution easier_" and "_more difficult for law enforcers to track them down." This opens a new playing field for these individuals and groups to set camp and unleash their activities.

Experiences with cyber-criminals have changed dramatically since, as the report states, hackers would have infiltrated "on-premise servers_" to do their business and deliver these attacks. Now, since a large majority of data is being lifted to online cloud solutions – which providers surround with discussions that are focused "_on how data stored online is kept safe_" – it is the most logical target place for them to sight, according to the article. Troels Oertring, head of the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) at Europol, was quoted in the article saying, "_If I want to rob you … [in the non-online world], there is usually some link between the perpetrator and the crime scene…, but not with cybercrime."

Oertring continues in the article to say, "A difficulty for the police is that normally if we intend to have evidence, we seize things. We will seize a phone, a computer, and a server and [from here] find the attribution [and those responsible]. In the very near future from now, the criminals will operate from cloud services and … will be streaming [malware] from the cloud," and this will make tracing the source of it harder." The report notes the complexity of their activities since "criminals are unlikely to use the Amazon or Microsoft clouds to run their criminal empires." Oertring warns in the report by adding, "We already see now that criminal entities are establishing cloud services to make it even more difficult for us to get attribution." He goes on to clarify, through his statement in the article, that users should not avoid concern about "_legitimate cloud-based systems_" since they are not immune from being attacked or exploited.

Read more about this new cyber-battleground in the complete article and why authorities remind end-users of past breaches of "_secured systems_" as a valid warning that no one is wholly sheltered from these criminals.

Written by Bryon Turcotte  /  April 30, 2014

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