According to the Economic Times newspaper, official pages of the Indian government published encrypted scripts without authorization from their respective owners. The news was announced last Monday through a post on the media website.
Security researchers found that the websites of municipal governments in the state of Andhra Pradesh, among others, were infected by Coinhive-style crypto software. Users who visit these websites inadvertently extract cryptocurrencies on behalf of the hackers who injected the scripts into the websites originally.
The process is called cryptojacking, since malicious scripts basically hijack a user's computer to extract cryptocurrencies.
According to the note, security researchers Shakil Ahmed, Anisha Sarma and Indrajeet Bhuyan discovered the vulnerabilities and also that three of the sites that run encryption malware belonged to the subdomain ap.gov.in, which receives 160,000 visits each month.
Bhuyan told the Times that government websites are popular targets for malicious actors, and says:
"Hackers go to government websites for cryptocurrency mining because those pages get a lot of traffic and most people trust them ... Before, we saw many government websites that were defaced. Now, injecting cryptojacking is more fashionable since the hacker can make money. "
The IT secretary of Andhra Pradesh did not respond to a request for comments from the Times, although the state adviser to the prime minister, JA Chowdary, on 10 September thanked the AP for reporting the inconvenience, according to the report.
Despite recognizing cryptojacking malware, websites continued to execute the scripts until September 16, the Times said.
It is not clear how long each website ran the cryptographic decryption software, or how much cryptocurrency was extracted for the attackers.
It is common that this type of malware is present in high traffic sites, so it is advisable to protect ourselves with anti-spyware and anti-malware in any of our devices. Even smartphones and tablets are at risk of being used to mine without the owners' consent.
In addition to this type of measures, one way to be protected from all this is to always keep our browser preferably updated, both on computers and on mobile devices.
There are also extensions for browsers that protect our devices because they detect and block the use of miners, one of which is NoCoin, which is quite popular.
In this sense, if we take all these forecasts, it is very likely that our devices are not generating money for another person without our consent.