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Hackers generating money on government websites through crypto mining malware

Cryptocurrency has already broken a huge barrier in the digital market given an opportunity to buy-sell method globally which has affected a lot of organisations all over the world. People have made enormous amount of money through transactions but since last few weeks the value of bitcoin(along with some known cryptocurrencies such as Etherereum,Ripple ) has collapsed and investors are finding it tough to know the effect of sudden breakdown.

Hackers have found a way of mining these coins through a designed malware irrespective of the downfall of cryptocurrencies. They have hijacked thousand of websites including ones run by US, UK and Irish Government agencies, which were infected with a code that causes web browsers to secretly mine digital currencies. Wondering! how do hackers manage to crack into these Government websites? That’s Because all these websites use a common plugin called Browsealoud which allows blind or partially-sighted people to listen to the text that appears on the screen.

The NCSC [National Cyber Security Centre] has issued an advisory to all its constituents of government departments and agencies as well as critical national infrastructure providers, informing them of the issue and outlining a number of mitigation tech steps to prevent similar types of incidents occurring in the future“, the statement said. “The NCSC will continue to monitor developments in relation to this matter.”

According to a report on Irishtimes around 4,200 sites were affected for several hours on February 11, 2018, where hackers generated money out of an infected version Browsealoud which was added with a lesser known cryptocurrency Monero in the code and ran over the computers that invoked mining script on web browser whenever visitor accessed those websites without user’s consent.

This security breach again raised some questions on-site owners and leads us into a situation where you can take anything for granted even with strict security measures taken up with Government websites. ‘Coinhive’ was termed as the malware which enforced British software maker Texthelp to shut down its services with the due effect on Browsealoud.

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Shahnwaz Khan

Shahnwaz is Sarfraz’s brother and works in an IT company. He is experienced in database related stuff and writes on latest computer hardware trends. You can contact him at Shahnwaz@xtremegaminerd.com

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