Graboid: First-Ever Cryptojacking Worm Found in Images on Docker Hub

Unit 42 researchers identified a new cryptojacking worm we’ve named Graboid that’s spread to more than 2,000 unsecured Docker hosts. We derived the name by paying homage to the 1990’s movie “Tremors,” since this worm behaves similarly to the sandworms in the movie, in that it moves in short bursts of speed, but overall is relatively inept.

There have been incidents of cryptojacking malware spreading as a worm, but this is the first time we see a cryptojacking worm spread using containers in the Docker Engine (Community Edition). Because most traditional endpoint protection software does not inspect data and activities inside containers, this type of malicious activity can be difficult to detect. The malicious actor gained an initial foothold through unsecured Docker daemonswhere a Docker image was first installed to run on the compromised host. The malware, which was downloaded from command and control (C2) servers, is deployed to mine for Monero and periodically queries for new vulnerable hosts from the C2 and picks the next target at random to spread the worm to. Our analysis shows that on average, each miner is active 63% of the time and each mining period lasts for 250 seconds. The Docker team worked quickly in tandem with Unit 42 to remove the malicious images once our team alerted them of this operation.

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Source: Palo Alto