Cryptojacking is a malicious cyberattack in which an attacker stealthily utilizes a victim’s computer or device to mine cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Monero without the victim’s knowledge or agreement.
This usually entails infecting the victim’s PC with malware that mines using the victim’s processing power and resources.
Security experts at the Sysdig Threat Research Team (TRT) recently uncovered a novel cloud-native cryptojacking attack dubbed “AMBERSQUID” that leverages AWS services.
Novel Cryptojacking Attack
Overlooked services in AMBERSQUID operation can cost victims over $10,000/day. AMBERSQUID exploits the cloud services without AWS resource approval, complicating the incident response by targeting multiple services.
AMBERSQUID was found by analyzing 1.7M Linux Docker images, revealing hidden malicious payloads.
The initial container on Docker Hub led to a broader investigation, uncovering accounts initially using basic cryptominer containers before transitioning to AWS-specific services in this analysis.
Here below, we have mentioned all the active Docker Hub accounts:-
Deep exploration of delbidaluan/epicx reveals an attacker’s GitHub account housing Amplify app source code and mining scripts, employing multiple code versions for evasion.
The delbidaluan/epic container uses entrypoint.sh as ENTRYPOINT, with various images executing distinct scripts in the same format.
The initial script, amplify-role.sh, establishes the ‘AWSCodeCommit-Role,’ a role the attacker uses to grant permissions to AWS Amplify and other services.
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AWS Services Exploited
Here below, we have mentioned all the AWS services that are exploited:-
- AWS Amplify
- Amazon ECS
- AWS CodeBuild
- AWS CloudFormation
- Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling
- Amazon SageMaker
Here below, we have mentioned all the wallets used:-
Cost to the Victim
In the below chart, costs to the victim were mentioned:-
CSPs like AWS offer diverse services beyond EC2, often overlooked due to limited visibility, but they, too, grant access to computing resources.
Monitor all CSP services for misuse, employ higher-level usage logging if needed, and respond swiftly to detect and contain threats like AMBERSQUID.
At the moment, this threat targeted the AWS only, but it also underscores risks for other CSPs.