More corporate shared folders in cloud filled with malware, research finds

About 11 percent of shared cloud folders contain nasty surprises, according to recent research.

Internet file sharing has long been a prime route for malware to spread. The situation is one of the reasons (aside from the exposure of proprietary data) that many companies restrict the use of cloud file sharing to corporate-approved systems. But it turns out that those enterprise cloud folders are just as bad. As more companies sanction the use of cloud applications for collaboration and sharing data—even just between individuals' computers and mobile devices—those cloud apps have increasingly become fertile ground for malware.

In a study based on data collected from millions of users over the first three months of 2016, cloud security company Netskope found that 11 percent of corporate-approved cloud applications harbored malware. That total more than doubled, up from just 4.1 percent in the previous quarter's data.The malware discovered included JavaScript exploits, droppers used to spread other malware, malicious embedded macros in document files, actual backdoor malware, spyware, and adware. Some mobile device malware was found as well.

All of the malware was found in file sharing applications, though only 26.2 percent of it appeared to be actually shared (whether internally to others in the affected company, externally with partners, or even publicly shared). That means the cloud folders were either infected because they were connected to a device exploited by malware, or the files were moved to the folders by the user.

Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments