Hackers Use Organizations’ Amazon Cloud Computer Resources to Mine Bitcoin

According to a recent report by security intelligence group RedLock, hackers managed to break into Amazon Web Services (AWS) servers and, once they did, they used their access to execute a cryptocurrency mining command to mine bitcoin.

The hackers managed to gain access to Amazon’s cloud servers after discovering that the administration consoles of some organizations weren’t password protected. Redrock’s report pointed to a command using a Google-created, open-source technology whose goal is to make writing apps for the cloud easier, Kubernetes. It reads:

“Upon deeper analysis, the team discovered that hackers were executing a Bitcoin mining 2command from one of the Kubernetes containers. The instance had effectively been turned into a parasitic bot that was performing a nefarious activity over the internet.”

Usually, hackers attempt to slip into corporate servers to steal data, that they then on the dark web, or give to state-actors looking for Intel.  Notably, the affected companies were multi-billion dollar businesses, Aviva and Gemalto, so using their servers to mine bitcoin is, at best, odd.

The breach was discovered along with hundreds of other administration consoles unlocked across AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. These were likely the result of careless system administrators who didn’t think hackers would be targeting them. The companies were notified by RedLock.

Cryptocurrency mining craze

This is just the latest case of bad actors trying to use other people’s resources to mine a cryptocurrency. Recently, as reported by Core Media, two Crimean government employees were fired for mining bitcoin using state-owned computers.

Moreover, a group of hackers made $63,000 mining Monero (XMR) using unpatched Windows servers, and CBS-owned showtime websites – Showtime.com and Showtimeanytime.com – were recently targeted with a “malvertising” attack, in which someone implemented Monero mining code to use visitors’ CPUs to mine the cryptocurrency.

The mining craze has been fueled by this year’s cryptocurrency market capitalization boom, as it reached a $150 billion sum, with bitcoin itself having a $76 billion market cap, as each coin is trading at $4,611.66 at press time, according to data from Cryptocompare.