Cryptojackers has targeted the American multinational technology company Microsoft this time and hijacked machine learning clusters present on the Azure cloud computing network of Microsoft with the intention of mining the Monero cryptocurrency.
Announcing the news on June 10, the technology company Microsoft said that it had found various cryptojacking attacks on Azure’s machine learning clusters. The purpose of hijackers was to mine the digital currency XMR.
The attack affected tens of Kubernetes clusters
According to the blog post, this attack was discovered by the Azure Security Center (ASC). They found that the attack basically targeted the open-source project Kubeflow, which is a machine-learning toolkit for Kubernetes. According to the report of the Azure Security Center, there were around tens of Kubernetes clusters affected by this severe attack.
Furthermore, the Azure Security Center stated that the Kubernetes clusters were the ideal target for cryptojackers because they are usually used for ML tasks and contain GPUs as well in some cases. Therefore, they attacked them.
A suspect image was found by ASC
A suspect image was found to be present on some of the machine learning Kubernetes clusters discovered from a public repository by the Azure Security Center. The image was inspected by ASC and after inspecting the different layers of the image, they found that that very image runs XMR miner. ASC reported that there were some other images too available on the same public repository.
Cryptojackers knew the fact that machine learning clusters of the Azure computing network are very powerful and can lead them to mine Monero cryptocurrency therefore they aimed at them.
Hackers have hijacked Microsoft as well which raises certain questions on the security of Microsoft. However, the company was able to investigate the issue and found out the reason.