|Sep 17, 2018 07:19 PM||By: John Patrick Mullin | 5162 Views|
Official government websites have grown a prime target for crypto jacking in India, The Economic Times (ET) states today, September 17.
Cryptojacking is the method of affecting a target with malware that uses a computer’s processing power to mine for cryptocurrencies without the owner’s permission or information.
New research from cybersecurity investigators reportedly reveals that widely believed government websites – including those of the director of the municipal government of Andhra Pradesh, Tirupati Municipal Corporation and Macherla town – have become the latest to be used by the system.
Security Researcher Indrajeet Bhuyan said ET that:
“Hackers target government websites for mining cryptocurrency because those websites get high traffic and most characters trust them. First, we saw a lot of government websites going destroyed (hacked). Now, including crypto jackers is more prevalent as the hacker can make money.”
According to the Times, Guwahati-based defense researchers Shakil Ahmed, Anish Sarma and Bhuyan were the first to recognize vulnerabilities on the AP government websites, all of which are subdomains of the remarkably popular ap.gov.in – which is published to receive over 160,000 visits per month.
According to the ET, crypto jacking seems rife on the enterprise as well as government systems, with PublicWWW listing over 119 Indian websites that run Coinhive code – a script built to mine Monero (XMR) via a web browser.
ET cites a new Fortinet report that recommends crypto jacking has further than doubled between 2017 Q4 and 2018 Q1, with the percentage of changed companies rising from 13 to 28 percent.
Fortinet’s Rajesh Maurya told ET that crypto jacking produces revenue “with a portion of the effort and consideration caused by ransomware,” noting that unauthorized video-streaming websites are a particularly profitable target, as the script can make use of multiple CPU cycles to mine crypto as users see movies or TV series.
ET further states that internet of things (IoT) results are considered by security authorities to be “the next frontier” for crypto jackers, given that such things have the high processing power and yet may be still for much of the day. ET’s search on IoT-focused search engine Shodan.io found that over 13,500 home routers in India were infected by crypto jacking malware – a figure that was only passed globally by Brazil.
As earlier stated, research this season from cybersecurity firm McAfee Labs reported that crypto jacking malware activity had risen a huge 629 percent in 2018 Q1.