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Unsecured Amazon S3 buckets are prime cloud target for ransomware attacks

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways: Security researchers are dropping notes in publicly writable S3 buckets to inform owners that their configuration leaves them vulnerable to attack. Amazon has provided free access to the S3 bucket permissions checker in AWS Trusted Advisor for all users in response to this issue.

Misconfigured S3 buckets are a too-common problem among Amazon Web Services (AWS) users, and security researchers are taking notice. Noted security researcher Kevin Beaumont has warned that publicly writable S3 buckets could be used by criminals in ransom attacks, similar to how tens of thousands of MongoDB instances were targeted last year.

Given the nature of ransomware attacks, and the massive amount of data that can be stored in S3 buckets, it is unlikely to be cost-efficient for hackers to copy data to restore to affected users who actually pay a ransom. As such, the likelihood of being able to retrieve data in the...(continued)

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