Channel Insider content and product recommendations are editorially independent. We may make money when you click on links to our partners. Learn More.

NEW YORK — Cyber-criminals are
simultaneously taking advantage of the cloud’s benefits to launch attacks as
well as targeting organizations’ cloud services, security experts said.

As organizations increasingly
virtualize their data centers and move their applications to the cloud,
attackers are beginning to think, "Let’s attack here," Allen Vance, director of
product management of the data and applications security group at Dell
SecureWorks, told attendees at Cloud Expo during a session on cloud security on
June 6. Organizations have to put in measures to handle threats to their
virtualized environments when considering a cloud deployment because the
environment amplifies the risks, Vance said. Cloud Expo is running from June 6
to June 9 here.

"We are in the middle of a war," Terry
Woloszyn, CTO of PerspecSys, told attendees in a different session on cloud
security. He compared the current security climate to an "arms race" as
cyber-attackers are continuously developing new attack vectors and modifying
existing threats, leaving vendors and businesses to play catch-up.

Nowhere is this more evident than the
recent game of whack-a-mole Apple has been playing with malware developers
behind the fake MacDefender antivirus scam and its many variants over the past
few weeks.

A new MacDefender variant appeared
within 24 hours after Apple released a security update on June 1 that included
the malware definition in the Mac OS X File Quarantine list. After Apple
updated definition files to cover the new variant on June 2, yet another one
popped up that bypassed the quarantine hours later.

Vulnerabilities reported in virtualized
technologies have "nearly doubled" between 2008 and 2010, according to data
compiled by Dell SecureWorks Threat Intelligence and Intrusion, Vance said.
Dell SecureWorks found that security "events" detecting attacks against virtual
environments increased by more than 500 percent over the same period.

To read the original eWeek article, click here: Cyber-Attackers Taking Aim at Cloud and Virtualized Environment.