Google has cautioned that cryptocurrency miners are leveraging compromised Google Cloud accounts for computationally intensive mining. In a study released on Wednesday, the search giant’s cybersecurity team detailed the security compromise. The “Threat Horizons” report intends to give intelligence that can help businesses safeguard their cloud systems.
In a summary of the report, Google stated that malicious actors were spotted mining cryptocurrencies within compromised Cloud instances. Cryptocurrency mining is a profit-driven activity that frequently necessitates enormous processing power, which Google Cloud users may pay for. Google Cloud is a cloud-based storage technology that allows consumers to store data and files remotely.
According to Google, bitcoin mining was carried out on 86 percent of 50 newly hacked Google Cloud accounts. Within 22 seconds of the account being accessed, bitcoin mining malware was downloaded in most breaches. Around 10% of the hacked accounts were also used to search other publicly available resources on the internet for susceptible systems, while 8% of the accounts were exploited to attack additional targets.
Bitcoin, the world’s most prominent cryptocurrency, has been chastised for consuming excessive amounts of electricity. Bitcoin mining consumes more electricity than in several countries. Police raided an alleged cannabis farm in May, discovering it was an illicit bitcoin mine.
Google Cloud officials said in a blog post that in 2021, the cloud threat environment was more complicated than rogue bitcoin miners. According to the report, Google analysts also discovered a phishing attack by Russian gang APT28/Fancy Bear at the end of September. However, it was halted by Google.