Australians being targeted by cloud malware

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Tuesday, 31 October, 2023

Australians being targeted by cloud malware

Australian employees are using an average of 30 different cloud apps every month, but this is exposing them to a host of security threats, according to new research from Netskope.

A global survey conducted by the secure access service edge company found that Australian respondents are downloading malware-infected files via popular cloud applications more than any other region, with cloud malware accounting for 64% of all malware delivery in the past 12 months.

Malicious actors are distributing malware through cloud applications that many Australian workers rely on daily, including OneDrive (19%), Sharepoint (18%), Github (12%), Weebly (6%) and (4.3%), Netskope said.

The most common malware detected by Netskope in Australia is Trojans (76%), which are often used to gain a foothold to allow attackers to deliver other types of malware, such as infostealers, remote-access Trojans, backdoors and ransomware.

Netskole Threat Labs Director Ray Canzenese said the recent spate of high-profile Australian data breaches put Australia even higher on the list of prime targets for global threat actors. “The sharp increase in malware delivered via popular cloud apps from November 2022 is testament to this, and shows how local businesses are having to defend against an onslaught of malware, many of which are coming from cloud ecosystems,” he said.

“Unfortunately, legacy security technology, which is still used by a number of Australian organisations, is often blind to cloud ecosystems, and unable to provide granular visibility and control over the data flowing to and from cloud applications.”

With cloud applications now a major potential source for cyber threats, it has become critical for organisations to improve application and network monitoring and detection capabilities to include cloud use, Canzenese said.

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