Breaking the Chains: Blocking Cryptocurrency Mining on CloudBees Platform

Written by: Chris Zappalà
3 min read

Tl;dr - we have been targeted by bad actors who used free minutes to mine for cryptocurrency on the CloudBees platform, so we took action to stop the abuse by temporarily restricting workflow execution in the free tier. This means free workloads are currently suspended while we put some additional guardrails in place and improve the user signup experience.

Within a few days, we expect to restore workflow execution for free tier users who verify their accounts by adding a payment method OR contacting us via Slack. Adding a credit card will NOT result in any charges to your account.

We know having to add a credit card to an account introduces a point of friction to your experience. While completely eliminating the potential for misuse is impossible, we believe this solution will reduce the abuse. This is a temporary thing, and we’ll provide updates here as we work to resume normal service with the free tier.

It’s been great to see people signing up for and engaging with the new CloudBees platform. Over 1,000 users are already actively building and running workflows on it since we launched on 11/1. Sometimes, though, the same value the platform provides for legitimate users also appeals to bad actors.

Unfortunately, this pattern of abuse is common among SaaS providers. It was highlighted as a known blight upon the software delivery landscape back in 2021 (read this article or this one for a good overview of the issue). If left unchecked, this exploitation leads to higher costs for CloudBees to provide the underlying infrastructure for our platform and, as a result, higher usage costs for our users. The scale at which rogue individuals or organizations typically operate can also degrade performance and usability across a platform and impact legitimate users.

The good news? With the controls we had in place, we quickly identified and halted the exploitation. We’re now enhancing our safeguards to improve the user signup experience while simultaneously taking steps to prevent future misuse. While we do this, free workloads will be suspended until the new controls are established. However, to compensate for any inconvenience, if you’re an active free-tier user please reach out to us via Slack and we’ll be happy to upgrade you to the (paid) Team plan for one month. For current paid users on the CloudBees platform there is no impact at all. 

Thank you for using the CloudBees platform. We will continue to work hard to deliver innovations that enable you to deliver software faster, more securely, and with a minimum of friction.

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