Category Archives: coinhive

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Websites Hit by Latest Wave of Cryptojacking

The website ‘Bad Packets Report’ has released a list of some 300 sites that have been compromised by “cryptojacking”, including Chinese hardware maker Lenevo.

Coindesk reports that the site’s security adviser, Troy Mursch, wrote last week that the compromised sites had been infected by hackers installing a browser mining software which exploited an outdated version of Drupal, a content management system (CMS). The two vulnerabilities, CVE-2018-7600 and CVE-2018-7602, have left numerous websites vulnerable to hacks if they did not receive immediate updates.

Incidents of cryptojacking are currently on the rise, defined as the secret use of one’s computing device to mine cryptocurrency. The hacking used to occur when the victim unknowingly installed a program on their computer which secretly mined cryptocurrency. Now, hackers are infecting websites with software that utilizes the victim’s computer power to mine cryptocurrency on the attackers’ behalf.

The list published by Mursch includes government and university portals as well as private companies, but is not the first of such alerts. After a previous release by cyber-security firm Imperva, warning that Drupal sites were being hacked by ‘Kitty’, an in-browser cryptocurrency miner containing a file named ‘me0w.js.’, it became clear that these sites were at risk.

Mursch explained why mining malware is currently rife:

“This is because Coinhive and other cryptojacking services (malware) are simply done with JavaScript. Every modern browser and device can run JavaScript, so as such, everybody can mine cryptocurrency and unfortunately Coinhive has been used and abused time and time again. [In] this particular case, Drupal users need to update [as soon as possible].”

Not all Coinhive users are malicious, as Bitcoin News reported recently. UNICEF recently launched a project called ‘The Hope page’  in support of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, which used the crypto mining service to fund its project. In this case, users gave permission to UNICEF to mine the coin monero using donors’ computer power.

 

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“Hope” for Children in Need with New Aussie UNICEF Mining Donations

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has announced a program which has been designed to use donors’ computers to raise fiat currency through cryptocurrency mining.

The website, the nucleus of the new project, is called “The Hope Page“, and is able to mine the cryptocurrency Monero using donors’ computer processing power through Coinhive, a crypto-mining service. This is the second time that UNICEF has used cryptocurrency to fund its overseas projects. In February, it launched a similar program to support children in Syria, affected by the lengthy civil war in that country, using donors’ computers to mine Ether.

The donated funds will go to the UNICEF Australia‘s current mission in Bangladesh established due to the Rohingya crisis, providing humanitarian relief for both children and their mothers and ensuring that they receive life-saving supplies such as safe drinking water, food, and vaccines. Some families, having escaped the military-led violence in neighboring Myanmar, are now living in refugee camps in Bangladesh awaiting placement.

UNICEF’s director of fundraising and communications Jennifer Tierney explained, “We wanted to leverage new emerging technologies to raise awareness about current humanitarian crises and raise new funds to support children caught up in them.”

She suggests that donating is simply as easy as opening a page. The Hope Page instructions clarify this for donors:

“The longer you stay on the page and the more processor power you donate, the more algorithms get solved, which earns cryptocurrency.”

However, visitors to the page are warned that cryptocurrency mining may incur further costs apart from the added domestic energy consumption.  Donating may lead to higher energy bills and visitors to the site are informed that they have the option to donate cash or make credit card donations prior to authorizing mining.

At press time, over 3,600 people were donating to the programme using the cryptocurrency mining process.

image source: https://pixabay.com/en/girl-asylum-politically-policy-982119/ – geralt

 

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