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Microsoft warns of cryptomining attacks on Kubernetes clusters

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Microsoft warns of cryptomining attacks on Kubernetes clusters

Microsoft warns of an ongoing collection of assaults compromising Kubernetes clusters working Kubeflow machine studying (ML) situations to deploy malicious containers that mine for Monero and Ethereum cryptocurrency.

The assaults had began in direction of the top of Could when Microsoft safety researchers noticed a sudden improve in TensorFlow machine studying pod deployments.

“The burst of deployments on the varied clusters was simultaneous,” stated Microsoft Senior Safety Researcher Yossi Weizman.

“This means that the attackers scanned these clusters upfront and maintained a listing of potential targets, which had been later attacked on the identical time.”

Kubernetes clusters used to mine for Monero and Ethereum

Whereas the pods had been reputable from the official Docker Hub repository, the attackers modified them to mine for cryptocurrency on compromised Kubernetes clusters by deploying ML pipelines utilizing the Kubeflow Pipelines platform.

To realize preliminary entry to the clusters and deploy the cryptocurrency miners, the attackers use Web-exposed Kubeflow dashboards, which ought to solely be open to native entry.

The risk actors deploy at the least two separate pods on every of the hacked clusters: one for CPU mining and one for GPU mining. ]

XMRig is used to mine Monero utilizing the CPU, whereas Ethminer is put in to mine Ethereum on the GPU.

The malicious pods used on this energetic marketing campaign are named utilizing the sequential-pipeline-{random sample} sample.

“The assault continues to be energetic, and new Kubernetes clusters that run Kubeflow get compromised,” Weizman warned.

Kubeflow pipelines
Kubeflow pipelines (Microsoft)

Continuation of earlier assaults

This marketing campaign follows the same marketing campaign from April 2020, which additionally abused highly effective Kubernetes clusters as a part of a large-scale cryptomining marketing campaign.

Not like this marketing campaign, when the attackers used Kubeflow Pipelines to deploy ML pipelines, the April 2020 assaults abused Jupyter notebooks.

Although Microsoft detected a number of different campaigns concentrating on Kubernetes clusters up to now exploiting Web-exposed providers, the April 2020 marketing campaign was the primary time an assault particularly focused Kubeflow environments.

Admins are suggested to all the time allow authentication on Kubeflow dashboards if exposing them to the Web can’t be prevented and monitor their environments (containers, pictures, and the processes they run).

In associated information, Unit 42 researchers additionally shared data on Siloscape, the first-ever malware to target Windows containers, with the top purpose of compromising and backdooring Kubernetes clusters.

Not like different malware that targets cloud environments that primarily focus on cryptojacking, Siloscape exposes the compromised infrastructure to a broader vary of malicious pursuits.

These embrace ransomware assaults, credential theft, knowledge exfiltration, and even extremely disastrous provide chain assaults.


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