Most Attacks on Cybersecurity Firm’s Decoy Servers Aimed at Mining Crypto: Report

Of the 16,371 attacks on Aqua Security's decoy servers over the last year, 95% were aimed at mining cryptocurrency through deploying malicious programs.

Sep 14, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 9:55 a.m. UTC

An analysis of a year's worth of cyberattacks on "honeypot" servers set up by the cybersecurity firm Aqua Security, shows a majority of the attacks targeted earning revenue through mining crypto on compromised servers. 

These particular cloud servers were deliberately misconfigured to attract cyberattacks in an attempt to learn how such attacks take place and how to stop them. The study covers the period between June 2019 and July 2020.

  • According to Aqua's recent report, of the 16,371 attacks on its decoy servers over the last year, 95% were aimed at mining cryptocurrency through deploying malicious programs to hijack the cloud computing power. 
  • The attacks on the firm's misconfigured servers also registered a sharp rise at the beginning of this year, with attacks per day rising from about 12 in December 2019 to 43 per day in June 2020.
  • While honeypot servers can help understand the methods used by attackers, the report by Alpha Security admits the results might be "profoundly biased towards a single initial access point," indicating that similar studies analyzing multiple compromised access points or a supply-chain attack may reach different conclusions. 
  • Although honeypot serves cannot accurately simulate real-world conditions, they can offer insight into the malicious programs used to compromise cloud servers and the motivations driving such attacks. 
  • Aqua Security's study also found the attacks aimed at mining crypto on its decoy servers appeared to prefer mining monero (XMR) over other cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. “We speculate that they choose monero since it is considered significantly more anonymous than bitcoin,” the report noted. 
  • A July report by Microsoft found that while rising volatility and mining difficulties have deterred crypto-mining attacks overall, users in countries such as Singapore, Vietnam and India face a relatively higher risk of being exposed to an attack. 
The Festival for the Decentralized World
Thursday - Sunday, June 9-12, 2022
Austin, Texas
Save a Seat Now

DISCLOSURE

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Trending

1
CoinDesk - Unknown
First Mover Asia: Terra's Difficult Post-Collapse Path: VCs Backing Away, Regulators Jumping on Stablecoins

Some investors see salvageable pieces in the rubble while others are bemoaning their involvement and want to forget the protocol ever existed; bitcoin edges up in weekend trading.

Some investors see salvageable pieces in the rubble while others are bemoaning their involvement and want to forget the protocol ever existed; bitcoin edges up in weekend trading.

CoinDesk - Unknown
2
CoinDesk - Unknown
China Can’t Seem to Stop Bitcoin Mining

Reported hashrate fell to zero for two months in China last year, but it has since returned rather abruptly.

Reported hashrate fell to zero for two months in China last year, but it has since returned rather abruptly.

CoinDesk - Unknown
3
CoinDesk - Unknown
Could Local Digital Currencies Improve Communities?

That's the argument of the president of the RadicalxChange Foundation.

That's the argument of the president of the RadicalxChange Foundation.

CoinDesk - Unknown
4
CoinDesk - Unknown
After the Terra Meltdown: What's Next for Stablecoins?

The largest token collapse in crypto history. So let Luna die.

The largest token collapse in crypto history. So let Luna die.

CoinDesk - Unknown