Friday, April 12, 2024

Mastermind Hacker Behind $2 Million Crypto Scam Arrested

The 29-year-old man was arrested in Mykolaiv, Ukraine, for using hacked accounts to create 1 million virtual servers to illegally mine cryptocurrency. It is estimated that the suspect has mined cryptocurrency worth over USD 2 million (or EUR 1.8 million).

The person responsible for the extensive cryptojacking operation was identified and located during several months of intense collaboration between Ukrainian police, Europol, and a cloud provider.

Malicious actors obtain unauthorized access to cloud computing infrastructure and exploit its computational capacity to mine cryptocurrencies in a cloud environment, known as “crypto-jacking.”

Criminals can avoid paying for the required servers and power, which usually exceed the profits, by stealing cloud resources to mine cryptocurrency. The holders of the compromised accounts are faced with enormous cloud costs.

Mastermind Behind Sophisticated Cryptojacking Scheme

According to Europol, the suspect has been identified to be the “mastermind behind a sophisticated cryptojacking scheme”.

The individual compromised the systems of one of the biggest e-commerce organizations globally, according to a report released by the Ukrainian cyber police.

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The attack began in 2021; initially, 1,500 accounts of the subsidiary company were “hacked” by the hacker. The attacker accomplished this by using self-developed software for automatic password selection – the so-called brute force.

The hacker obtained access to the service’s management by using compromised accounts. Subsequently, the attacker developed a computer virus miner for mining cryptocurrencies, which covertly compromised the company’s server infrastructure.

He built over a million virtual computers to guarantee the malicious software was executed. The individual withdrew about two million US dollars in cryptocurrency to controlled electronic wallets over more than two years of illicit conduct, equivalent to more than 75 million hryvnias.

Computer equipment, bank and SIM cards, electronic media, and other evidence seized (Source: cyberpolice.gov.ua)

Protect Oneself from Cloud Cryptojacking

  • Use strong access controls to prevent unauthorized access to cloud resources.
  • Continuously monitor cloud environments for suspicious activities, unauthorized access, and unexpected resource utilization.
  • Keep all cloud resources, including virtual machines and containers, updated 
  • Use security services and tools provided by cloud service providers to enhance security.

Looking for cost-effective penetration testing services? Try Kelltron’s to assess and evaluate the security posture of digital systems – Free Demo.

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Guru baran
Guru baranhttps://gbhackers.com
Gurubaran is a co-founder of Cyber Security News and GBHackers On Security. He has 10+ years of experience as a Security Consultant, Editor, and Analyst in cybersecurity, technology, and communications.

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