This Russian County's Website Was Hacked to Mine Cryptocurrency

A Russian county website was hijacked, redirecting visitors to a cryptocurrency mining malware site.

AccessTimeIconJun 11, 2018 at 3:02 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 8:02 a.m. UTC
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A county government website for Khabarovsk, Russia, was recently hacked as part of a bid to mine cryptocurrency by highjacking the computer power of those visiting it.

County administration IT officer Vyacheslav Kovalenko reported that since the end of May, users who opened any page of the website were redirected to another malicious website that secretly launched mining software on their computers.

The malware had been active for 10 days before being removed Thursday, local news agency Gubernia.com reported. In addition to securing the vulnerability in their website, officials published a report recommending that users block pop-up windows in order to avoid similar risks in the future.

The website posts information about the county administration's work and official events and has a visitorship of about 600 visitors per day.

The incident represents one of the more notable – and local – occurrences of what has become known as "cryptojacking," the act of clandestine mining that has been in the news numerous times in recent months.

In February, several employees at the All-Russian Scientific Research Institute for Experimental Physics (the main nuclear research body in Russia) were arrested at their workplace for mining on the institute's supercomputer. Similarly, last September, two IT managers with the Crimea government were fired for installing mining hardware in the government building.

In yet another incident last December, employees for Transneft – one of the largest oil transporting companies in Russia – were caught mining at their workplace, and the operator in Vnukovo airport (Moscow) was arrested for installing a mining farm at the airport venue.

Miner image via Shutterstock

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