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Cloud Technology Vulnerabilities

Written by DFM Team


Cloud Technology Vulnerabilities

Virtualisation technologies are vulnerable to all the attacks that are found in software applications and networking environments. The big difference however is that virtualisation technologies are software and hardware complexities that add extra layers of potential for attack. The unique attacks are principally targeted at the software and hardware design arrangements for shared tenancies and the vulnerabilities that can be exploited once the independent partitions between tenants are compromised.

Virtualization is the core technology of cloud computing that permits Cloud Service Providers to create a multi-tenanted architecture. It involves the simulation of hardware and/or software which are sold by lease or per user service. Because tenants use computing resources according to their own lifecycle requirements the computing resource can be optimised for economic return by giving the end user access to independent virtual machines. The virtual machines are a software creation that sits above the hardware layer and operating system and is generally termed the hypervisor layer. Vulnerabilities occur because the hypervisor layer shares the same hardware between multiple virtual machines.

Once a virtual machine is compromised or access is gained to the underlying hardware software operating systems then everything that is sitting on top becomes vulnerable to exploitation. The exploitation can be the compromise of information, hijacking/man in the middle activities, and the un-authorised usage or disruption of services. Being a core software technology of cloud computing the virtualization layer is often a target for attackers. The most prominent attacks are DoS, cross virtual machine cache monitoring, hypervisor escape access, and hyper-jacking command and control.

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