The website techradar.com talks about unprecedented hacker attack, during which thousands of government websites worldwide have been hacked with the purpose of mining cryptocurrencies, monero. Like bitcoin with ether, currency is based on blockchain, but provides greater confidentiality of transactions.
Specialist in the field of cybersecurity, Scott helm has published the first details of their investigation. He cited a giant list of 4,275 sites owned by governments in several countries, including the UK, the US and Australia. They were all infected with a virus called Coinhive.
In an interview with Sky News, helm said:
Such an attack is not new, but it’s the biggest attack I’ve ever seen. Hacking into one company has infected thousands of sites in England, Ireland and the United States.
Coinhive is a script cryptogamia that turns the computers of site visitors in mining-factory. This potentially gives hackers access to the computing power of millions of computers. Malicious code can be embedded on websites through popular Browsealoud plugin, application assistant, which makes the site more accessible for people with visual impairments and dyslexia (inability to read).
The Texthelp company that issued Browsealoud, confirmed that the infected plugin was taken offline. Specialist in data protection company Martin Mackay said:
“Thanks to this Browsealoud was immediately removed from all our clients’ websites, which did not have to perform any actions.”
Although in the past hackers were able to use computers of countless users for mining cryptocurrency, it seems that this time there is no threat, because Texthelp reports that “customer data did not fall into the hands of attackers and were not lost.”
The English national center for cybersecurity has issued an official statement on this episode, in which he assured:
“Government websites are operating normally and there is nothing to indicate any risk”.