Over 50,000 Websites Running Cryptojacking Malware
September 18, 2018 11:09 am
The hidden cryptocurrency mining incidents do not seem to come to a stop. Popularly known as cryptojacking, websites employ hidden malicious code to mine cryptocurrencies using the victim’s CPU power. Cryptojacking is a major threat, in fact, it was recently revealed that hackers are moving away from ransomware and focusing on cryptojacking as it is more profitable.
A few months ago, the Pirate Bay was found mining cryptocurrencies on its website as well. Even popular brands such as CBS’s Showtime’s website was found running the mining script. If used correctly, cryptocurrency mining websites can remove the need for display ads and give users an alternative way to support a cause, Change.org is one such website. What’s essential here is that mining should be performed only with the user’s consent.
The most common way of cryptojacking is done by injecting CoinHive malware into the website. This allows the hacker to mine Monero coins using the CPU power of the affected user.
Recently it was found that up to 50,000 websites have been affected by cryptojacking scripts. This report was published by Troy Mursch from Bad Packets Report. Troy is a security researcher who used PublicWWW, the source-code search engine to scan websites for cryptojacking codes. He found that at the minimum 48,953 websites are affected by this malicious code. Additionally, it was discovered that at least 7,368 websites belonged to WordPress domain.
The most surprising part of this whole ordeal is that the affected sites also includes sites from government and public service agencies. While several sites have already removed the mining script from their websites, users need to exercise caution when browsing such sites.