Resource Hijacking

Adversaries may leverage the resources of co-opted systems in order to solve resource intensive problems which may impact system and/or hosted service availability.

One common purpose for Resource Hijacking is to validate transactions of cryptocurrency networks and earn virtual currency. Adversaries may consume enough system resources to negatively impact and/or cause affected machines to become unresponsive.[1] Servers and cloud-based[2] systems are common targets because of the high potential for available resources, but user endpoint systems may also be compromised and used for Resource Hijacking and cryptocurrency mining. Containerized environments may also be targeted due to the ease of deployment via exposed APIs and the potential for scaling mining activities by deploying or compromising multiple containers within an environment or cluster.[3][4]

Additionally, some cryptocurrency mining malware kills off processes for competing malware to ensure it’s not competing for resources.[5]

ID: T1496
Sub-techniques:  No sub-techniques
Tactic: Impact
Platforms: Containers, IaaS, Linux, Windows, macOS
Permissions Required: Administrator, User
Data Sources: Command: Command Execution, File: File Creation, Network Traffic: Network Connection Creation, Network Traffic: Network Traffic Flow, Process: Process Creation, Sensor Health: Host Status
Impact Type: Availability
Contributors: Alfredo Oliveira, Trend Micro; David Fiser, @anu4is, Trend Micro; Jay Chen, Palo Alto Networks; Magno Logan, @magnologan, Trend Micro; Vishwas Manral, McAfee; Yossi Weizman, Azure Defender Research Team
Version: 1.2
Created: 17 April 2019
Last Modified: 14 April 2021

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
G0096 APT41

APT41 deployed a Monero cryptocurrency mining tool in a victim’s environment.[6]

G0108 Blue Mockingbird

Blue Mockingbird has used XMRIG to mine cryptocurrency on victim systems.[7]

S0486 Bonadan

Bonadan can download an additional module which has a cryptocurrency mining extension.[8]

S0492 CookieMiner

CookieMiner has loaded coinmining software onto systems to mine for Koto cryptocurrency. [9]

S0601 Hildegard

Hildegard has used xmrig to mine cryptocurrency.[3]

S0434 Imminent Monitor

Imminent Monitor has the capability to run a cryptocurrency miner on the victim machine.[10]

S0599 Kinsing

Kinsing has created and run a Bitcoin cryptocurrency miner.[11][12]

G0032 Lazarus Group

Lazarus Group has subset groups like Bluenoroff who have used cryptocurrency mining software on victim machines.[1]

S0451 LoudMiner

LoudMiner harvested system resources to mine cryptocurrency, using XMRig to mine Monero.[13]

S0532 Lucifer

Lucifer can use system resources to mine cryptocurrency, dropping XMRig to mine Monero.[14]

G0106 Rocke

Rocke has distributed cryptomining malware.[15][16]

S0468 Skidmap

Skidmap is a kernel-mode rootkit used for cryptocurrency mining.[17]

Mitigations

This type of attack technique cannot be easily mitigated with preventive controls since it is based on the abuse of system features.

Detection

Consider monitoring process resource usage to determine anomalous activity associated with malicious hijacking of computer resources such as CPU, memory, and graphics processing resources. Monitor for suspicious use of network resources associated with cryptocurrency mining software. Monitor for common cryptomining software process names and files on local systems that may indicate compromise and resource usage.

References