A cryptomining gang known as 8220 Gang has been exploiting Linux and cloud app vulnerabilities to grow their botnet to more than 30,000 infected hosts. The group is a low-skilled, financially-motivated actor that infects AWS, Azure, GCP, Alitun, and QCloud hosts after targeting publicly available systems running vulnerable versions of Docker, Redis, Confluence, and Apache. After gaining access, the attackers use SSH brute forcing to spread further and hijack available computational resources to run cryptominers pointing to untraceable pools. The 8220 Gang has been active since at least 2017 and isn’t considered particularly sophisticated, but the sudden explosion in infection numbers underlines how dangerous and impactful these lower tier actors can still be when they’re devoted to their goals. In the latest campaign, observed and analyzed by SentinelLabs, the 8220 Gang has added new things to the script used to expand their botnet, a piece of code that is sufficiently stealthy despite lacking dedicated detection evasion mechanisms.
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