Hackers hit the U.S. and U.K. government websites to mine crypto-cash, on Sunday. Security researcher Scott Helme said thousands of websites including many government ones, were infected.
According to a report, hackers hit the U.S. and U.K. government websites more than 4,200 sites with a code that forces web browsers to secretly mine cryptocurrency. The affected code is a malicious version of a widely used tool known as Browsealoud plugin from British tech company Texthelp, the report says.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said that they are aware of the problem and working to resolve it.
The cryptojacking program called Coinhive was inserted into website codes through the tainted version of Browsealoud for mining the digital currency Monero. The program uses the processing power of a user’s device and generates money for the hackers behind the attack, according to a report. Once the plug-in was infected, it flooded thousands of other websites.
The National Cyber Security Centre said that the malicious code had now been disabled and members of the public were no longer at risk.
“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 United States,” Helme said in a statement. “Someone just messaged me to say their local government website in Australia is using the software as well.”
Texthelp stated that it had disabled Browsealoud and shut down the operation as its engineering team investigated the issue.