Security vendor blames Amazon for customer malware

A security vendor claims Amazon Web Services provided a cloud-computing customer with an unpatched version of Windows that resulted in a malware infection.

Bkav, a network security company based in Vietnam, started investigating the incident after the AWS customer complained that Bkav software had failed to catch the data-stealing malware.

[Amazon woos enterprise with Virtual Private Cloud]

Bkav claims that AWS, a division of e-retailer Amazon, initially handed the customer a version of Windows Server 2003 that had not been patched since October 2009. Over the last five years, 300 vulnerabilities have been reported in the operating system, according to CVE Details.

Bkav believes the OS was compromised before the customer had a chance to update the software, Ngo Tuan Anh, vice president of Internet security, wrote in the company's blog Wednesday.

Hackers continuously scan the Internet for vulnerabilities in servers, so it is possible they found the unpatched OS and infected it with malware as soon as it was turned on, Anh said.

When a company chooses Amazon's cloud-computing service, it selects a package of technologies, called an Amazon Machine Image (AMI), that is suppose to include a fully patched operating system, application server and applications. How Bkav's customer got unpatched software is not clear.

Amazon declined comment.

Bkav tested the cloud-computing services of Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard and GoGrid and claims to have found that Microsoft Azure was the only one consistently running updated versions of Windows. HP Public Cloud had some versions eight months out of data, while GoGrid had versions that had not been patched since April 2012, Bkav said.

[Amazon hack highlights customer service security weakness]

GoGrid did not respond to a request for comment, but HP said its "cloud team closely examines our systems and sites for potential vulnerabilities, and remediates as needed."

"Also, it should be noted that HP consistently employs security controls and procedures to protect against potential attacks that target our systems and networks," the company said in a statement emailed to CSOonline.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Amazon Web Servicescloud security vendorsAmazon AWSMicrosoftsecurityapplication service providerNetworking and Internetapplication securityAccess control and authenticationcloud security mistakes

More about Amazon Web ServicesAmazon Web ServicesHewlett-Packard AustraliaHPMicrosoft

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Antone Gonsalves

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts