Yet again, another website in Russia was hacked to mine cryptocurrency. This time, it was no ordinary website, but a Russian state, Khabarovsk, administration website. The users started to complain about the computers lagging and slowing down. They also complained that the website was redirecting the users to a different page: a pop-up. IT experts looked into the matter and suspected it might be a virus to mine cryptocurrency. The hypothesis was later confirmed on 7th June via Russian News Society, Gubernia. The pop-up turned out to be a cryptocurrency mining launch page which would run in the background and was hidden from the users. The cryptocurrency was being mined on those computers, consuming their energy and utilizing their power, which comes under the notion of “theft”.

An employee of the Khabarovsk region administration support department stated that:

“In the process of the investigation, it was found out that a mechanism was introduced to the site when the malicious program began to work on the user’s computer from a third-party infected site, which caused crypto-currency mining.

The virus had been active for 10 days and the website has been observed to have nearly 600 users per day. Now how many computers were actually affected by the virus remains a mystery, but IT specialists reported that a lot of cryptocurrencies must have been mined in those ten days time period the virus was active.

It was advised to all users of the website to block any pop-up they see on their computer. Another safe way to avoid such viruses is to keep antivirus preinstalled in the computer that performs a weekly scan and instantly detects any malware. Since cryptocurrency mining has become very easy and anyone could easily do that on their will, more and more ways of haking and illegal use are coming in their way to success.

Several other cases have come forward in Russia in which websites were hacked to mine cryptocurrencies. A few employees of the All-Russian Scientific Research Institute for Experimental Physics were arrested for mining cryptocurrency on their office computers in February. Similarly, two IT managers were also fired for installing mining software on government computers in Cremia, whereas an operator in Vnukovo airport was arrested for doing the same.

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