Security Experts:

Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

SecurityWeekSecurityWeek

Cloud Security

Iranians Charged for Cryptojacking After U.S. Firm Gets $760,000 Cloud Bill

Two Iranian nationals have been charged this week in Missouri for allegedly running a cryptojacking operation that targeted at least one company in the United States.

The accused are Danial Jeloudar and Saeeid Safaei, and they are both believed to be living abroad. They have been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Two Iranian nationals have been charged this week in Missouri for allegedly running a cryptojacking operation that targeted at least one company in the United States.

The accused are Danial Jeloudar and Saeeid Safaei, and they are both believed to be living abroad. They have been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

According to prosecutors, Jeloudar and Safaei “fraudulently” gained access to a cloud services account used by a tech company in St Charles, Missouri.

“By misrepresenting themselves through the victim company’s account, the defendants fraudulently authorized the cloud service provider to build and install at least five new computer servers in the cloud. The purpose of the new servers was to run and operate software programs to generate cryptocurrency,” the Justice Department said in a press release on Thursday.

The intrusion came to light when the targeted company received a $760,000 bill from the cloud services provider. The cloud service has not been named but companies such as AWS charge customers based on usage.

These types of incidents are not uncommon — while in some cases the cryptocurrency mining operation is conducted by an external actor, there have also been many incidents involving the affected company’s own employees.

The DoJ’s press release also includes some recommendations for organizations to minimize the risk of cryptojacking. The advice includes using two-step authentication to protect online accounts, monitoring log-ins for suspicious access, and auditing cloud storage in an effort to find unauthorized content.

Authorities pointed out that this is the first cryptojacking case to be prosecuted in the Eastern District of Missouri.

Earlier this week, a Missouri man was sentenced to 10 months in prison for his role in a SIM swapping scheme that resulted in the theft of millions of dollars in cryptocurrency.

Related: Twitter Hacker Charged Over Theft of $784,000 in Cryptocurrency

Related: Canadian Teen Arrested Over Theft of $36 Million in Cryptocurrency

Related: Singaporean Indicted in U.S. for Illegal Crypto-Mining

Written By

Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.

Click to comment

Expert Insights

Related Content

Application Security

Cycode, a startup that provides solutions for protecting software source code, emerged from stealth mode on Tuesday with $4.6 million in seed funding.

Cybercrime

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

Cybercrime

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

Cybercrime

A new study by McAfee and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) named a staggering figure as the true annual cost of...

Cybercrime

The FBI dismantled the network of the prolific Hive ransomware gang and seized infrastructure in Los Angeles that was used for the operation.

Cloud Security

VMware vRealize Log Insight vulnerability allows an unauthenticated attacker to take full control of a target system.

Cybercrime

Video games developer Riot Games says source code was stolen from its development environment in a ransomware attack

Cybercrime

CISA, NSA, and MS-ISAC issued an alert on the malicious use of RMM software to steal money from bank accounts.