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.

ID: T1496
Tactic: Impact
Platform: Linux, macOS, Windows, AWS, GCP, Azure
Permissions Required: User, Administrator
Data Sources: Azure activity logs, Stackdriver logs, AWS CloudTrail logs, Process use of network, Process monitoring, Network protocol analysis, Network device logs
Impact Type: Availability
Version: 1.1

Procedure Examples

Name Description
APT41

APT41 deployed a Monero cryptocurrency mining tool in a victim’s environment.[3]

Lazarus Group

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

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