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Over 4,200 US, UK government websites infected with crypto-mining malware: Report

Attackers infected websites with a malicious version of Browsealoud, a tool used by people with vision problems.

tech Updated: Feb 12, 2018 11:17 IST
Reuters
Reuters
Reuters
Bitcoin,Bitcoin mining,Cryptocurrency attacks
This news comes amid the surge in cyber attacks to infect systems with crypto-mining tools(Benjamin Howell/iStockphoto)

Thousands of websites, including ones run by U.S. and UK government agencies, were infected for several hours on Sunday with code that causes web browsers to secretly mine digital currencies, technology news site The Register reported.

More than 4,200 sites were infected with a malicious version of a widely used tool known as Browsealoud from British software maker Texthelp, which reads out webpages for people with vision problems, according to The Register.

The news comes amid a surge in cyber attacks using software that forces infected computers to mine crypto currencies on behalf of hackers. The prevalence of these schemes has increased in recent months as the volume of trading in bitcoin and other crypto currencies has surged.

The tainted version of Browsealoud caused inserted software for mining the digital currency Monero to run on computers that visited infected sites, generating money for the hackers behind the attack, The Register said.

Representatives of the U.S. and British law enforcement agencies and Texthelp could not immediately be reached for comment.

Texthelp told The Register that it had shut down the operation by disabling Browsealoud while its engineering team investigated.

Just yesterday, engineers at Russia’s top nuclear research facility were caught trying to mine bitcoin on its computers. These engineers were trying to mine bitcoin on the nuclear facility’s computers to generate crytocurrency.

First Published: Feb 12, 2018 11:17 IST