Dev put AWS keys on Github. Then BAD THINGS happened

Fertile fields for Bitcoin yields - with a nasty financial sting


Bots are crawling all over GitHub seeking secret keys, a developer served with a $2,375 Bitcoin mining bill found.

DevFactor founder Andrew Hoffman said he used Figaro to secure Rails apps which published his Amazon S3 keys to his GitHub account.

He noticed the blunder and pulled the keys within five minutes, but that was enough for a bot to pounce and spin up instances for Bitcoin mining.

"When I woke up the next morning, I had four emails and a missed phone call from Amazon AWS - something about 140 servers running on my AWS account," Hoffman said.

"I only had S3 keys on my GitHub and they were gone within five minutes!"

"As it turns out, through the S3 API you can actually spin up EC2 instances, and my key had been spotted by a bot that continually searches GitHub for API keys."

Amazon (he said) told him such bot exploits were increasingly common with hackers running algorithms to perpetually search for GitHub for API keys.

"Once it finds one it spins up max instances of EC2 servers to farm itself Bitcoins," he said.

Amazon refunded his bill, as it had for others. In December 2013 hackers ran up a $3,493 Litecoin mining bill for developer Luke Chadwick.

The blunder was the latest of many and served as a reminder for administrators to adhere to Amazon's best practice guidelines. ®

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