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Mining Malware Ravages UK Sites, Including Gov. and NHS.

  • Alex Dovbnya
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    Cryptojacking is on the rise as it has emerged that thousands of UK websites have come under attack.


Mining Malware Ravages UK Sites, Including Gov. and NHS.

It has been uncovered that thousands of websites across the UK alone have been infiltrated by Mining Malware which unwittingly forces visitors’ computers to mine cryptocurrencies.

Sites such those belonging to the National Health Service (NHS) the Student Loans Company and a number of governmental councils were all infected with the software.

Over the weekend, there was an instance where the UK’s data protection watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office, was forced to take its website down to deal with an infestation of Mining Malware.

Cryptojacking

Since it was first discovered on a high profile site, that of the illegal downloading torrent site, The Pirate Bay, crypto jacking has become more and more prominent.

Essentially, a script called Coinhive, in many instances, is attached to a website and from there it unobtrusively forces a visitors processor to mine the cryptocurrency Monero.

This has forced The National Cyber Security Center to step in, confirming that they were investigating the matter and there was no reason for the general public to feel at risk from this Malware attack.

‘The biggest attack’

The alarm bells were rung when Scott Helme, an IT security consultant, received information from a  friend whose antivirus had picked up the malware on a government site.

“This type of attack isn’t new – but this is the biggest I’ve seen. A single company being hacked has meant thousands of sites impacted across the UK, Ireland and the US,” Helme told Sky News.

“Someone just messaged me to say their local government website in Australia is using the software as well.”

Taken offline

The magnitude of this infection has prompted the National Cyber Security Center to act. A spokesperson for the center said:

“NCSC technical experts are examining data involving incidents of malware being used to illegally mine cryptocurrency.”

 “The affected services have been taken offline, largely mitigating the issue. Government websites will continue to operate securely. At this stage, there is nothing to suggest that members of the public are at risk.”

ENDS

 

Cover image via cryptocomes.com
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