The cryptocurrency craze is still in full swing and this explains why the frequency of crypto-related crimes has exploded in the recent past. A case was reported last week involving a 24-year old Chicago man who was arrested amid charges that he stole $2 million in Bitcoin and Litecoin from his employer.
Accompanying the conventional theft, the cryptocurrency craze has also led to the increase in cryptojacking cases. Cryptojacking is an activity where malicious actors secretly siphon an unsuspecting user’s computing resources in order to mine cryptocurrency.
Majority of cryptojacking incidents involve PCs or mobile devices.However, cryptojackers are seemingly shifting their paradigm. According to a new security report from RedLock reveals that cryptojackers recently leveraged Tesla’s public cloud for cryptocurrency mining.
“The hackers had infiltrated Tesla’s Kubernetes console which was not password protected,” the report reads. “Within one Kubernetes pod, access credentials were exposed to Tesla’s AWS environment which contained an Amazon S3 (Amazon Simple Storage Service) bucket that had sensitive data such as telemetry.”
The report says that the cryptojackers employed some “sophisticated evasion measures” as to keep their illicit activity from attracting any attention. A good example involved the mining software used in this particular case which was reportedly fine-tuned as to keep CPU usage within a normal range, thus reducing suspicion.
RedLock alerted Tesla after discovering the malicious act whereupon the issue was promptly fixed. Tesla revealed that it endorses the maintenance of a bug bounty program to encourage this type of research, adding that it addressed the vulnerability within hours of learning about it.
Tesla reported that the impact appears to be limited to internally-used engineering test cars only. Fortunately, no indication of security or customer privacy compromise has been unraveled.