Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Report Shows Over 13 Million Malware Events Targeting Linux Cloud

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DALLAS — A recent report shows how Linux operating systems are being targeted by cyber threats as organizations increase their digital footprints in the cloud. 

The “Linux Threat Report 2021 1H: Linux Threats in the Cloud and Security Recommendations” features research on the state of Linux cloud security in the first half of 2021.

The report by Trend Micro, a cybersecurity company, was released last month. 

The “Linux Threat Report” indicates the pervasive threats that make up the Linux threat landscape. 

For instance, over 13 million malware events targeted Linux-based cloud environments.

Ninety percent of public clouds workloads ran on Linux as of 2017, according to Trend Micro.

Linux helps organizations to make the “most of their cloud-based environments and power their digital transformation strategies,” Trend Micro said. 

Many Internet of Things (IoT) devices and cloud-based applications run on some flavor of Linux, making it “a critical area of modern technology to secure.”

Yet, the report reveals that most detections arose from systems running end-of-life versions of Linux distributions, including 44% from CentOS versions 7.4 to 7.9. 

The report also shows 200 different vulnerabilities were targeted in Linux environments, meaning attacks on Linux are likely taking advantage of outdated software with unpatched vulnerabilities.

“It’s safe to say that Linux is here to stay, and as organizations continue to move to Linux-based cloud workloads, malicious actors will follow,” said Aaron Ansari, VP of cloud security, Trend Micro. 

“We have seen this as a main priority to ensure our customers receive the best security across their workloads, no matter the operating system they choose to run it on.”

Top malware families affecting Linux servers 

  • Coinminers (25%): The high prevalence of cryptocurrency miners is of little surprise given the clear motive of the seemingly endless amount of computing power the cloud holds, making it the perfect environment
  • Web shells (20%): The recent Microsoft Exchange Attack, which leveraged web shells, showed the importance of patching against this type of malware
  • Ransomware (12%): The most prevalent detected was the modern ransomware family DoppelPaymer. However, some other notable ransomware families seen targeting Linux systems as well are RansomExx, DarkRadiation, and the DarkSide.

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