Markets

UK Authorities web site goes offline after hack

UK Authorities web site goes offline after hack

As well as the ICO website, the hacked script was found running on the site of the Student Loans Company, Barnsley Hospital and other websites in the United Kingdom and worldwide.

The computers of internet users visiting a number of government agencies and bodies were yesterday forced to run software that mines, or creates, a cryptocurrency similar to Bitcoin.

Security researcher Scott Helme made the initial discovery, publishing an enormous list of 4,275 government sites spanning several countries, including the US, UK and Australia, that were infected by a malware known as Coinhive.

He explained on his blog that it's far easier for hackers to compromise a plug-in used by lots of sites, than to attack them all directly. "In this case it turned out that Text Help, an assistive technology provider [found on Browsaloud], had been compromised and one of their hosted script files changed".

A list of 4,200-plus affected websites can be found here: they include The City University of NY (cuny.edu), Uncle Sam's court information portal (uscourts.gov), Lund University (lu.se), the UK's Student Loans Company (slc.co.uk), privacy watchdog The Information Commissioner's Office (ico.org.uk) and the Financial Ombudsman Service (financial-ombudsman.org.uk), plus a shedload of other.gov.uk and.gov.au sites, UK NHS services, and other organisations across the globe.

"If you want to load a crypto miner on 1000+ websites you don't attack 1000+ websites, you attack the 1 website that they all load content from", Helme said.

The problem stems from a website plug-in called Browsealoud that helps blind and partially sighted people access the web.

North and South Korea celebrate peace through taekwondo show
The North then withdrew its request after it asked for more fuel than Seoul was willing to provide, a Seoul official added. There's worry, too, that the proposed summit Pyongyang may come with preconditions - a North Korean specialty.

The hackers then used the extra processing power provided by users" devices to "mine' cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

"The affected service has been taken offline, largely mitigating the issue".

The hack added the Coinhive program to the impacted websites. Helme suggested government websites must be held to a higher security standard.

"Texthelp has in place continuous automated security tests for Browsealoud, and these detected the modified file and as a result the product was taken offline".

Helme documented the attack on his website, while Texthelp said an investigation was under way.

BuzzFeed News has sought comment from the Queensland government, and the Australian Cyber Security Centre.


  • United Nations  chief briefly meets N. Korea leader at Olympics

    United Nations chief briefly meets N. Korea leader at Olympics

    The previous meetings came after rounds of global talks aimed at eliminating the North's nuclear program, which eventually failed. South and North Korea technically remain at war, since the Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.
    Cattrall hits out at Parker

    Cattrall hits out at Parker

    Cattrall did not hold back when interviewed by Piers Morgan about why she didn't want to do a third Sex and the City movie. Last week, Kim Cattrall shared an Instagram post announcing that her brother, Chris Cattrall, had died.
    Former Alabama LB Reuben Foster arrested on charges related to domestic violence

    Former Alabama LB Reuben Foster arrested on charges related to domestic violence

    He was also kicked out of the National Football League combine in early March after an altercation with a hospital employee. The off-the-field issues helped lead to Foster, one of the best prospects in the draft falling to the late first round.
  • Dems taking another run at blocked memo on Russian Federation  probe

    Dems taking another run at blocked memo on Russian Federation probe

    Some Republicans have claimed the Democratic memo involved more substantial information about law enforcement sources and methods. In response, a memo was prepared by Democrats that reportedly contests and further details the claims made by Republicans.
    Figure skater Yura Min suffers wardrobe malfunction

    Figure skater Yura Min suffers wardrobe malfunction

    The whole time in the back of my head I was just thinking: 'Keep your back straight because it might come down". She will compete together again in the individual pairs competition. "I only noticed it halfway through".
    JB Hi-Fi sales and revenue lift

    JB Hi-Fi sales and revenue lift

    JB Hi-Fi closed one of its New Zealand stores in the six months ended December 31, while opening seven new stores in Australia. JB Hi-Fi expects group profit to be between $235 million and $240 million, an increase of 13.1% to 15.5%, for the 12 months.
  • SYRIA: 59 killed, 139 injured in govt air strikes on besieged rebel

    It came on the heels of the bloodiest day in months for Eastern Ghouta on Tuesday, when 80 civilians were killed in strikes. Security Council complaining about what it called a "new aggression that poses a war crime and a crime against humanity".
    Team figure skating concludes; women's alpine skiing postponed

    Team figure skating concludes; women's alpine skiing postponed

    NBC ( live stream ) will broadcast these competitions, and fans can watch every event airing on NBC via FuboTV . Hot on their heels, Maia and Alex Shibutani from Team USA finished second using a medley of Perez Prado songs.
    NBC fires analyst following 'ignorant, insensitive' on-air comment about South Korea

    NBC fires analyst following 'ignorant, insensitive' on-air comment about South Korea

    That split gave us North Korea and South Korea, and a long history of conflict between the nations that continues to this day. Koreans around the world criticised Ramo's remarks on social media and a petition soon circulated online.
  • Mooy hurt in Huddersfield win

    Mooy hurt in Huddersfield win

    AUSTRALIA'S midfield star Aaron Mooy was carried off in agony as Huddersfield beat Bournemouth in the English Premier League . Steve Cook then scored an own goal from Mounie's deflected shot with just under 25 minutes to play.
    Amitabh Bachchan's sarcastic response to paps after hospital visit

    Amitabh Bachchan's sarcastic response to paps after hospital visit

    Notably, Bachchan underwent an abdominal surgery in Feb'12 at Seven Hills Hospital after which he was admitted for 12 days. Explaining the reason behind it, Big B has penned down a poem and posted the original and a translated version on his blog.
    Sword-attacker shot after wounding four

    Sword-attacker shot after wounding four

    It was later revealed by police that the man only received visits by members of his congregation and gave them his blessings. The 22-year-old attacker decapitated statues of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary during the incident, photos showed.