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According to US tech giant Google, miners of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been using hacked Google Cloud accounts to boost their cloud mining operations.
The breach of Google’s platform security was revealed by the company’s cybersecurity team in a report Wednesday. The report titled “Threat Horizons” provides intelligence to organizations trying to maintain a secure environment in the cloud.
“Malicious actors have been observed mining cryptocurrencies in compromised Cloud instances”
reported by Google stated.
Google Cloud customers can use the platform’s computing power for their operations, including cryptocurrency mining. Google’s cloud service provides telemetry data and file storage to its customers off-site.
Google revealed that of the 50 compromised Google Cloud accounts, around 86% had been compromised by hackers for cryptocurrency mining. According to the report, within 22 seconds of the account breach, the cryptocurrency mining software was downloaded.
Another fact highlighted in the report is that about 10% of compromised accounts were used to scan other resources available on the Internet to identify vulnerable systems. 8% of cases are used to carry out attacks on other targets.
One of the most energy- and resource-intensive cryptocurrencies is Bitcoin, which has been harshly criticized. Meanwhile, miners are looking for alternatives to alleviate this disadvantage in a world moving towards decarbonisation.
“Of course, the cloud threat in 2021 is more complex than that of rogue crypto miners,”
credits the report’s writers, Bob Mechler, office manager, chief information security officer, Google Cloud, and Seth Rosenblatt, security editor at Google Cloud.
In their note, Google researchers revealed that at the end of September, there was a phishing attack created by the Russian group APT28/Fancy Bear. However, experts point out that the company was able to successfully stop the attack.
Google’s investigation has also identified a group of hackers supported by the North Korean regime. The criminals posed as Samsung technicians to infect files and computers of employees of several South Korean cybersecurity firms with malware, the researchers added.
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