An Amazon Web Services (AWS) customer had a really bad day when they received an unsolicited bill for $ 45,000 for renting computing power from Amazon’s cloud-based servers. Further investigation revealed that the client’s account was hacked, which allowed the malicious actors to boot up AWS servers around the world while running cryptocurrency mining software for the privacy-focused coin Monero.
On-demand, distributed computing services like Microsoft Azure or Amazon’s Web Services are widespread and are used by organizations and individuals for various purposes. However, the advent of cryptocurrencies brought with it the possibility of exchanging computing power directly for cryptocurrency tokens. That, in turn, turned users’ cloud computing accounts into gold. Even if in this case the amount of cryptocurrency actually earned was comparatively pathetic compared to the costs incurred: 6 Monero coins worth around 800 US dollars were minted for 45,000 US dollars.
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