The so-called "man-in-the-cloud" attack is said to be a common flaw in most cloud-based file synchronization services.
By Zack Whittaker for Zero Day | August 6, 2015
Newly published research, released at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday by security firm Imperva, shows how a "man-in-the-cloud" attack can grab cloud-based files -- as well as infecting users with malware -- without users even noticing.
The attack differs from traditional man-in-the-middle attacks, which rely on tapping data in transit between two servers or users, because it exploits a vulnerability in the design of many file synchronization offerings, including Google, Box, Microsoft, and Dropbox services.
This is not just an issue for consumers, but also businesses, which increasingly use cloud-based services to share sensitive customer and corporate data.
The report by Imperva, which has a research unit as well as having a commercial stake in the security space, said in some cases "recovery of the account from this type of compromise is not always feasible."