Hackers hijack UK websites to secretly mine cryptocurrency

Feb 12, 2018 · uktech.news

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Some UK websites have been shut down amid warnings that hackers were taking control of visitors’ computers to secretly mine cryptocurrency.

Over 4,000 sites from across the world – including those owned by the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and the NHS – were taken down yesterday after security researcher Scott Helme raised the alarm.

According to The Register, which broke the news, the affected websites were using Browsecloud, a relatively popular plugin created by Texthelp, which helps the blind and partially sighted navigate the web.

It’s not yet known how the technology was compromised, although reports suggest it was either intercepted by hackers or rogue insiders who altered the plugin’s script. Hackers were then able to add the Monero miner to Browseclod’s proprietary code.

Helme said: "It’s a very lucrative proposal. They infect one website and it infects close to 5,000."

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