$45,000 AWS Crypto-Mining Hack Generates $800 of Monero

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An Amazon Web Services (AWS) customer had a really bad day when they received an unsolicited $45,000 bill for renting computing power from Amazon’s cloud based servers. Further investigation showed that the customer’s account was hacked, allowing the bad actors to spin up AWS servers around the globe while running a cryptocurrency mining software for privacy-focused coin Monero.

On-demand, distributed computing services such as Microsoft’s Azure or Amazon’s Web Services are common, used by organizations and individuals for multiple purposes. However, the advent of cryptocurrencies brought about the possibility to directly exchange computing power for cryptocurrency tokens. That, in turn, has turned users’ cloud computing accounts into gold. Even if in this case, the amount of cryptocurrency actually earned was comparably pitiful compared to the costs it generated with it: 6 Monero coins worth approximately $800 were minted for a $45,000 cost.

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