Google Cloud Launches A Threat Detection Service For Crypto-mining Malware

Google Cloud recently announced the launch of a new threat detection service that will target crypto-mining malware used inside virtual machines (VM). In a blog post, Google Cloud’s Security Command Center Team explained that the new service, called the Virtual Machine Threat Detection (VMTD), will successfully detect threats by scanning “compute engines” in Google Cloud.

Crypto mining malware has been a problem for a long time. Bad actors use malicious software to target poorly configured accounts, hijack them, and then use them for their own computing purposes. This process is also known as “cryptojacking.” Browser-based cryptojacking reached its peak during 2019, while cloud-based cryptojacking continues to grow and wreak havoc on cloud computing.

Google to crack down on cryptojacking

In November 2021, researchers analyzed 50 different incidents connected to compromised Google Cloud protocols, and discovered that 86% of these incidents were related to cryptocurrency mining. In its Threat Horizons report, Google pointed out that hackers might be seeking to hijack the GPU space in order to mine cryptocurrencies.

Google’s Security Command Center Team decided to create a better protection system for VM users, adding it to the product roadmap. After months of work, they have now unveiled their VMTD. The program can provide agentless memory scanning, which helps with threat detection. Apart from delivering protection from crypto mining, the program also secures users from threats like ransomware and data exfiltration.

2021 saw a notable surge in ransomware attacks. The attacks reached their peak in April last year, which many suggested was connected to the meteoric rise of cryptocurrency prices. As for cryptojacking attacks, Google has been cracking down on malicious attacks that steal internet processing power and electricity and use it for crypto mining purposes. The company has been battling this problem for years, particularly since one of its own services (YouTube) was found to be cryptojacked in 2018, alongside 55% of other businesses worldwide.

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