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Huawei Cloud hit with cryptomining malware

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A modified version of a Linux cryptomining malware that previously attacked containers now targets relatively new cloud service providers, particularly Huawei Cloud, report researchers.

Cybersecurity analysts from TrendMicro have shared insights into the malware, and how it has evolved from last year’s container-attacking variant to go after cloud environments.

In the post, the researchers share how “malicious actors deploy code that removes applications and services present mainly in Huawei Cloud.” 

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Analyzing the modus operandi of the attackers leads TrendMicro to believe that the threat actors are going after Amazon Elastic Cloud Service (ECS) instances inside Huawei Cloud.

Weeding out competition

The researchers note that the malware disables the hostguard service, a Huawei Cloud Linux agent process whose purpose is to detect and flag any security issues.

Moreover, the malware contains an open source plugin agent that’s designed to allow Huawei Cloud users to reset a password to their ECS instances.

“As threat actors have these two services present in their shell scripts, we can assume that they are specifically targeting vulnerable ECS instances inside Huawei Cloud,” explain TrendMicro researchers Alfredo Oliveira, and David Fiser.

In their analysis of the malware, the researchers note that interestingly it puts in the time and effort to search for and terminate any other malware running on the attacked cloud environment. 

“More than any other samples and campaigns we’ve seen so far, this campaign performs a comprehensive sanitization of the operation system. It looks for both signs of previous infections and for security tools that could stop its malicious routines,” the researchers comment.

The researchers have shared their analysis with Huawei, but have yet to get a response.

Mayank Sharma

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.