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. ®

Narrower topics


Other stories you might like

  • Millions of people's info stolen from MGM Resorts now dumped on Telegram for free
    Meanwhile, Twitter coughs up $150m after using account security contact details for advertising

    Miscreants have dumped on Telegram more than 142 million customer records stolen from MGM Resorts, exposing names, postal and email addresses, phone numbers, and dates of birth for any would-be identity thief.

    The vpnMentor research team stumbled upon the files, which totaled 8.7 GB of data, on the messaging platform earlier this week, and noted that they "assume at least 30 million people had some of their data leaked." MGM Resorts, a hotel and casino chain, did not respond to The Register's request for comment.

    The researchers reckon this information is linked to the theft of millions of guest records, which included the details of Twitter's Jack Dorsey and pop star Justin Bieber, from MGM Resorts in 2019 that was subsequently distributed via underground forums.

    Continue reading
  • DuckDuckGo tries to explain why its browsers won't block some Microsoft web trackers
    Meanwhile, Tails 5.0 users told to stop what they're doing over Firefox flaw

    DuckDuckGo promises privacy to users of its Android, iOS browsers, and macOS browsers – yet it allows certain data to flow from third-party websites to Microsoft-owned services.

    Security researcher Zach Edwards recently conducted an audit of DuckDuckGo's mobile browsers and found that, contrary to expectations, they do not block Meta's Workplace domain, for example, from sending information to Microsoft's Bing and LinkedIn domains.

    Specifically, DuckDuckGo's software didn't stop Microsoft's trackers on the Workplace page from blabbing information about the user to Bing and LinkedIn for tailored advertising purposes. Other trackers, such as Google's, are blocked.

    Continue reading
  • Despite 'key' partnership with AWS, Meta taps up Microsoft Azure for AI work
    Someone got Zuck'd

    Meta’s AI business unit set up shop in Microsoft Azure this week and announced a strategic partnership it says will advance PyTorch development on the public cloud.

    The deal [PDF] will see Mark Zuckerberg’s umbrella company deploy machine-learning workloads on thousands of Nvidia GPUs running in Azure. While a win for Microsoft, the partnership calls in to question just how strong Meta’s commitment to Amazon Web Services (AWS) really is.

    Back in those long-gone days of December, Meta named AWS as its “key long-term strategic cloud provider." As part of that, Meta promised that if it bought any companies that used AWS, it would continue to support their use of Amazon's cloud, rather than force them off into its own private datacenters. The pact also included a vow to expand Meta’s consumption of Amazon’s cloud-based compute, storage, database, and security services.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022