Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

SecurityWeekSecurityWeek

Cybercrime

Hacker Behind $2 Million Cryptocurrency Mining Scheme Arrested in Ukraine

Ukrainian authorities have arrested an individual allegedly involved in a $2 million cryptojacking operation.

The Ukrainian National Police and Europol have announced the arrest of an individual believed to be involved in a $2 million cryptojacking operation.

According to Europol, the suspect, a 29-year-old individual residing in Mykolaiv, Ukraine, is likely the mastermind behind a scheme targeting user accounts at a cloud services provider.

“A cloud provider approached Europol back in January 2023 with information regarding compromised cloud user accounts of theirs. Europol shared this information with the Ukrainian authorities, who subsequently opened an investigation,” the European agency for law enforcement said on Friday.

As part of the operation, which started in 2021, the miscreant targeted the servers of one of the largest ecommerce companies, hacking more than 1,500 user accounts in automated password brute-forcing attacks, the Ukrainian authorities announced.

The attacker then gained management access and infected the service with cryptocurrency mining malware.

“The hacker created more than one million virtual computers to run the malware,” the Ukrainian authorities said.

Over a period of the widespread cryptojacking operation, the individual is believed to have mined more than $2 million (€1.8 million) in cryptocurrency.

The Ukrainian police conducted searches at three properties and seized computer equipment, SIM cards, bank cards, and other evidence of illegal activity.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Authorities are currently working on identifying the individual’s potential accomplices and are investigating his possible affiliation with pro-Russian hacking groups.

Threat actors are known to target cloud servers for cryptojacking due to the high computing power these environments provide.

In July last year, Aqua Security and SentinelOne analyzed a TeamTNT cryptojacking campaign that expanded from Amazon Web Services (AWS) to Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) services.

In October, Palo Alto Networks revealed that, for two years, a threat actor had been harvesting IAM credentials from public GitHub repositories within minutes of exposure, using them to set up AWS Elastic Compute (EC2) instances for illicit crypto-mining.

“By stealing cloud resources to mine cryptocurrencies, the criminals can avoid paying the necessary servers and power, the cost of which typically outweighs the profits. The compromised account holders are left with huge cloud bills,” Europol notes.

Related: ‘Looney Tunables’ Glibc Vulnerability Exploited in Cloud Attacks

Related: Dero, Monero Cryptojackers Fighting for Same Kubernetes Clusters

Related: Nigerian Arrested, Charged in $7.5 Million BEC Scheme Targeting US Charities

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

Trending

Daily Briefing Newsletter

Subscribe to the SecurityWeek Email Briefing to stay informed on the latest threats, trends, and technology, along with insightful columns from industry experts.

Gain valuable insights from industry professionals who will help guide you through the intricacies of industrial cybersecurity.

Register

Join us for an in depth exploration of the critical nature of software and vendor supply chain security issues with a focus on understanding how attacks against identity infrastructure come with major cascading effects.

Register

Expert Insights

Related Content

Cybercrime

The changing nature of what we still generally call ransomware will continue through 2023, driven by three primary conditions.

Cybercrime

As it evolves, web3 will contain and increase all the security issues of web2 – and perhaps add a few more.

Cybercrime

A recently disclosed vBulletin vulnerability, which had a zero-day status for roughly two days last week, was exploited in a hacker attack targeting the...

Cybercrime

Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus Group informed some customers last week that their online accounts had been breached by hackers.

Cybercrime

Zendesk is informing customers about a data breach that started with an SMS phishing campaign targeting the company’s employees.

Artificial Intelligence

The release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in late 2022 has demonstrated the potential of AI for both good and bad.

Cybercrime

Satellite TV giant Dish Network confirmed that a recent outage was the result of a cyberattack and admitted that data was stolen.

Cybercrime

Patch Tuesday: Microsoft calls attention to a series of zero-day remote code execution attacks hitting its Office productivity suite.