Economy

Australian sites among thousands hacked to include mining script

Australian sites among thousands hacked to include mining script”

The National Cyber Security Centre in the United Kingdom has given an official statement on the matter, assuring people that "Government websites continue to operate securely", further stating that "there is nothing to suggest that members of the public are at risk".

A series of Australian government websites, including the Victorian parliament's, have been compromised by malware that forces visitors' computers to secretly mine cryptocurrency, as part of a worldwide security breach. The Queensland legislation website had taken further steps to get rid of the malicious script.

Over the weekend, the website of the Information Commissioner's office that is the UK's data protection watchdog, was taken offline in order to deal with crypto mining malware.

Security researcher Scott Helme today published his discovery of 4275 government websites across the globe that have been hijacked by Coinhive. He said he learned about the compromised JavaScript file on Sunday morning. The website plug-in helps people with dyslexia, low vision and low literacy use the Internet.

The makers of Browsealoud, Texthelp, confirmed that hackers inserted a script known as Coinhive into their software. The more processing power it has access to, such as via thousands of browsers on thousands of websites, the easier it is to generate cryptocurrency.

"When you load software like this from a third party, that third party can change it and make it do whatever they want", he said.

It appears that mining malware has also compromised websites in Australia, including the Victoria Parliament's site, the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal, the Queensland ombudsman, the Queensland Community Legal Centre, and the Queensland legislation website, which lists all of the state's acts and bills. It has the ability to utilise computer power to mine Monero when the browser window was loaded.

Browsealoud operator Texthelp said it taken the tool offline as soon as one of its automated scans had discovered the modified file.

According to the UK National Cyber Security Centre, there is nothing to suggest that members of the public are at risk at this point.



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