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Microsoft has spotted a new, widespread, ongoing attack targeting Kubernetes clusters running Kubeflow instances, in order to plant malicious TensorFlow pods that are used to mine for cryptocurrency. The Kubeflow open-source project is a popular framework for running machine learning (ML) tasks in Kubernetes, while TensorFlow is an end-to-end, open-source ML platform. Given that the attack is still active, any new Kubernetes clusters that run Kubeflow could be compromised, according to Microsoft. On Tuesday, Microsoft security researchers warned that toward the end of May, they saw a spike in deployments of TensorFlow pods on Kubernetes clusters – pods that are running legitimate TensorFlow images from the official Docker Hub account. But a closer look at the entry point of the pods revealed that their purpose is to mine cryptocurrency. Yossi Weizman, senior security research software engineer at Microsoft’s Azure Security Center, said in a post on Tuesday that the “burst” of these malicious TensorFlow deployments was “simultaneous,” indicating that the attackers initially scanned the clusters, kept a list of potential targets, and then pulled the trigger on all of them at once. Weizman explained that the attackers used two separate images: The first is the latest version of TensorFlow (tensorflow/tensorflow:latest) and the second is the latest version with GPU support (tensorflow/tensorflow:latest-gpu). The use of TensorFlow images in the cluster “makes a lot of sense,”…

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