Cryptojacking is a new form of malicious software penetration in which websites or phones are used to quietly mine cryptocurrency online on behalf of the hacker. Overall, it doesn’t cause any overt harm to the website or its users but piggybacks on its connection to earn Monero (the cryptocurrency in question).
Users shouldn’t feel alarmed that the malware could gather personal details. The worst that can happen is that your site or phone may have inadvertently raised some money for a criminal group.
Coinhive, the malicious script discovered by analysts, was embedded into a website plug-in called Browsealoud. The plug-in, which has since been taken down, provided people with low vision and literacy problems access to websites.
It is essential for all those involved in crypto currency in particular to learn about this evolving public cyber security threat. Two important points to take from this incident are:
Review any third party software/add-ons – Infiltrations of malicious script can be prevented by ensuring users review and scan any third party software and plug-ins that will be used on your websites. In this case, the Browsealoud plug-in had been hacked and spread its malware function onto any website that used the plug-in. This doesn’t mean that the plug-in was a malware itself, so it is important to communicate with developer/service providers to let them know their software has been hacked.
Immediately notify the authorities – Cryptocurrency miners are making a profit for an unknown hacker through fraudulent means. It is important to have authorities investigate the source of the malware as it could easily happen to many more unsuspecting victims.
Cryptojacking is a selfish kind of hack, and relatively victimless. At worst, your phone or website may have raised funds for an unsavoury individual or group. Nevertheless, the infiltration of secure sites and devices is a serious security issue. As always, it pays to trust, but verify data from third parties and spread the word when things go wrong.
For further information on cybersecurity and how we may be able to assist in securing your networks from cryptojacking, please do not hesitate to contact Agilient.
The Agilient Team