Ukrainian Police Arrest 29-Year-Old Hacker Who Set Up 1 Million Virtual Servers Mining Millions in Crypto

The hacker exploited 1,500 cloud accounts, generating over €1.8 million (>$2 million) in crypto.
Ukrainian Police Arrest 29-Year-Old Hacker Who Set Up 1 Million Virtual Servers Mining Millions in Crypto

Key Insights

  • A 29-year-old Ukrainian hacker was recently arrested for running a massive cloud-based cryptojacking scheme using 1 million virtual servers.
  • The hacker exploited 1,500 cloud accounts, generating over €1.8 million (>$2 million) in crypto.
  • The hacker also used these 1500 cloud accounts to conduct DDoS attacks and phishing scams.
  • The arrest highlights a global issue of cryptojacking, as well as the need for improved security.

The issue of illegal crypto mining has been one of the most pressing issues that world governments have had to deal with since the birth of crypto and blockchain technology.

Every year, someone finds a way to siphon resources like electricity and computing power for illegal mining purposes, making millions of dollars in the process.

The most recent instance of this is the issue of a 29-year-old Ukrainian man who was arrested by Europol this week, for running a massive cloud-based mining rig off the backs of a million virtual servers.

Let's see how one man managed to pull this off, and how much he managed to make.

A Sophisticated Cryptojacking Scheme

In what appears to be a stroke of mad genius, a 29-year-old Ukrainian man was discovered sometime last week by Europol.

This man found a way to run a massive crypto mining rig that exploited about 1,500 cloud accounts, owned by unsuspecting individuals.

With these accounts, the Ukrainian (who remains unnamed), managed to create over a million virtual machines that worked tirelessly, mining crypto without the consent of the account owners.

With the help of an equally unnamed cloud service provider, the National Police of Ukraine and Europol were able to conduct a combined investigation and track the culprit.

According to a press release from Europol, the hacker used a series of automated tools to scrape the internet for weakly protected cloud accounts.

Once he had 1,500 of them, he used specially designed software to turn the hacked accounts into virtual machines that were used to mine cryptos like Toncoin, a crypto project affiliated with the messaging app, Telegram.

The Europol press release states that the hacker made about 1.8 million euros, which would be a lot more than $2 million at current exchange rates from his illegal mining rig, most of which he transferred to his TON wallets.

To top things off, the hacker also used these stolen cloud accounts to perform distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks and phishing scams, according to the Ukrainian police.

Due to the hacker's actions, the cloud service provider and the affected cloud account holders suffered huge financial losses, after having to pay the hacker for the additional processing power they supposedly used used.

The CryptoJacking Scourge

This recent incident with the Ukrainian man is an example of what is known as cryptojacking.

There have been multiple incidents of cryptojacking all over the world, too many to count.

One of these incidents was the 2017 CoinHive malware campaign.

CoinHive was a notorious JavaScript-based crypto miner, that made the headlines in 2017. According to reports, an attacker found a way to embed the CoinHive code into several websites.

When visitors entered these sites and accepted cookies, the software began to run in the background of their browsers, using their CPU resources to mine Monero (XMR).

Another major instance was the illegal crypto-mining operation that was found under a school in Cohasset, Massachusetts, in 2023.

At the end of the day, Nadeam Nahas, a former municipal employee, was accused of making about $2 million and stealing energy worth thousands of dollars from the school to power the mining setup, which included multiple computers.

This is without mentioning how in 2022, cryptojacking cases soared by almost 400% recording 332 million hits in the first six months of the year according to SonicWall.

Overall, the Ukrainian's arrest represents a significant leap forward in the battle against cryptojacking, as well as creating a world with a lot more security, particularly in the crypto ecosystem.

Disclaimer: Voice of Crypto aims to deliver accurate and up-to-date information, but it will not be responsible for any missing facts or inaccurate information. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile financial assets, so research and make your own financial decisions.

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