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UK Government Websites Infected by Cryptocurrency Mining Malware

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Thousands of websites are reported to have been infected with a malicious malware, which harnesses the host’s computer power to mine cryptocurrency. Government websites have not spared either, with the reports indicating that those of the U.K. have also fallen victim of this malware.

The incident was revealed by Scott Helme, a British security researcher, who brought the issue to light, claiming that users who have accessed the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office ICO Website have been infected by the malicious malware. The version of the malware, known as Coinhive, illicitly mines Monero, an anonymous cryptocurrency.

When the issue was revealed, the website was brought down, citing that it was under maintenance. It’s said that the malware spread after compromising Browsealoud, a website plugin, which is used by the partially-sighted or the blind to access website content.

The maker of the website plugin known as Texthelp confirmed the reports, claiming that it had been breached for four hours by the malware, but that this had since been disabled.

More Websites Affected

A report by security researchers in Australia also claims that a number of government websites in Queensland, including those of the Victorian Parliament, could also have been affected.

Another report published in 2017 showed that Coinhive is one of the most common malwares that has been infiltrating computers. It was discovered on Showtime (a TV network), the website of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and Google ads.

Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Is the emergence of cryptocurrencies giving cyber-thieves new opportunities and techniques to access websites, harnessing host computer power to mine crypto? Is this inevitable? Please share your thoughts with us today.

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