Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have seen a surge in their trading volume in recent months, owing to Bitcoin’s dramatic value surge in 2017, starting with it, having crossed the $1000 mark on the first day of the year. This surge has undoubtedly raised the demand for cryptocurrencies, and in turn, the necessity to mine them. The US and UK government’s official websites, along with thousands of other websites, have been the latest targets of hackers, who have tainted these sites with crypto mining malware, forcing computers to mine cryptocurrencies for them.
Technology news site, The Register, has reported that more than 4200 sites were infected for a few hours on Sunday with a malicious version of Browsealoud from British software maker Texthelp. Browsealoud is a widely used tool that reads out web pages for people with visual impairment. The malicious version of Browsealoud made Monero, a digital currency mining software, to run on computers that visited infected sites, thereby mining cryptocurrencies for the attackers.
Upon being informed of the attack, Texthelp shut down the operation by disabling Browsealoud altogether, while its engineering team investigated. With government sites being under attack, it only shows the lengths hackers can go to in order to mine cryptocurrencies, while also expounding the growing demand for such currencies.