Daily Management Review

Just $24 Earned By Hackers From The Huge Cryptojacking Campaign Conducted Last Week


Just $24 Earned By Hackers From The Huge Cryptojacking Campaign Conducted Last Week
A number of website of government departments and agencies in the UK that include the websites of Information Commissioner’s Office, the Student Loans Company and several English councils make use of a plugin software BrowseAloud which allows users with vision problems to be able to read the screens of websites. And late last week, hackers compromised that plugin.
Coinhive which is a malware that makes use of the processing power of the computer of a visitor to a website infected with the malware for mining of cryptocurrencies, was linked to the plugin through a coded link by the hackers. This resulted in the draining out of batteries of the computers of the victims and causing a rise in their electricity bills for earning a few pennies a minute. However, the actual cash that the hackers had managed to amass from the hacking effort was very little despite the very large nature of the cyberattack. More than 5,000 websites globally were infected with the mollified BrowseAloud plug in.
Only about 0.1 Monero which is a privacy-focused cryptocurrency and which is currently priced at approximately $245 a coin was generated by the entire attempt, said Coinhive while speaking to a technology website Motherboard. This translates to just about $25 being generated from the entire cryptojacking exercise by the hackers. Even the hackers have not been paid out, said Coinhive.
The increasing value of a number of the virtual currencies has prompted the acts and campaigns of cryptojacking and it has now become quite common in the global context. There are a few organization that have begun to become a bit more open about their efforts at cryptojacking even while there are a number of applications which can be malicious where codes such as Coinhive’s software are secretly embedded or where opcmputers are totally taken over by malware.
Coinhive is being used to make money from those internet users who make use of an adblocker to stop advertisements form being displayed and run and US news site Salon is one such company that has openly admitted of incorporating Coinhive in its site. Users can “block ads by allowing Salon to use your unused computing power”, said Salon in an option labelled “suppress ads”.
In an FAQ posted on its site, Salon says: “We realise that specific technological developments now mean that it is not merely the reader’s eyeballs that have value to our site — it’s also your computer’s ability to make calculations, too. Indeed, your computer itself can help support our ability to pay our editors and journalists.”
In September 2017, visitor’s computers were begun to be used for mining of cryptocurrency by Pirate Bay, a filesharing website, and Salon has now followed that strategy openly. Pirate Bay acknowledged that it was carrying out a “test” when there was a hue and cry about a code that was found running of the computers of users even though the company had initially been very secretive about the issues. Later the company suggested that advertisements could be replaced completely in the future by such codes.