Countless websites and portals belonging to the citizens and government departments of India has been reported to be infected with cryptocurrency mining malware which enriched their owners as they take advantage of heavy traffic which daily trooped to these platforms on regular bases.
Crypto Jacking On India Government Websites
A cybersecurity researcher, Guwahati with his team, consisting of Shakil Ahmed, Anisha Sarma, and Indrajeet Bhuyan, first discovered the cryptojacking malware activity on the site of the municipal administration of Andhra Pradesh (AP). Other government websites involved are Tirupati Municipal Corporation and Macherla municipality.
Bhuyan noted that many people in the country had been exposed to the malware as most people trust the government websites, which makes them careless on blocking any malicious link. The three government websites involved in the crypto jacking are a subdomain of the ap.gov.in, with an average of over 1.6 million users in a month.
The reason why the hackers targeted government websites was that the sites host many visitors which makes cryptocurrency mining easier and profitable. Because the higher the users of a crypto jacked websites, the higher the cryptocurrency that will be mined.
These crypto jacking activities were reported to have involved over 119 Indian websites. This was through a Coinhive script, a malware that mines privacy oriented cryptocurrency, Monero.
The Cryptojacking Trend
Crypto jacking has become a trend that has offered more comfort to hackers. The only technique needed is the skill to run the Coinhive script on websites. The next action is to stay back and watch how the website users mine cryptocurrency for these hackers.
This is not the first time Coinhive malware attack is happening. In fact, it is noted as the most popular form of crypto jacking.
A similar event to the recent incident took place in March when official website of Union Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad was hacked and infected by the Coinhive malware.
Notably, Coinhive malware attack was reported in Brazil 2 month ago. The skill used in the attack makes attacked system unaware of such an attack. It was stated that the whole world is in danger of crypto jacking according to the report.
One way victims can identify when they are on a crypto jacked platform is when the system processor picks up unusual speed, or when the system becomes unusually slow in certain situations.
According to Bhuyan and his team, crypto jacking increased to 13% in the last quarter of 2017, and it grew to 28% in the first quarter of 2018. So also, the trend of crypto jacking news has become more popular than other times in the second part of 2018.
According to a survey last month, the hydra-headed monster, crypto jacking was noted to have hit one out of every three organizations in the United Kingdom.