Sunday, February 11th 2018

US and UK Government Websites Infected with Crypto-mining Malware

Potentially thousands of websites operated by various government ministries, departments, and statutory agencies, of the United States and the United Kingdom, could be infected with crypto-currency mining malware. The already infamously slow government websites, often crippled with bandwidth and hosting deficiencies, not to mention webpage design that's often behind web standards, are now embedded with crypto-miners thanks to outdated accessibility software.

Most government websites implement a web-based text-to-speech software called Browsealoud. Outdated versions of the software can be surreptitiously infected with crypto-mining scripts, by exploiting a vulnerability in the way the software dials home to the text-to-speech server. The scripts slow down computers by forcing them to mine crypto-currency for unauthorized people. Browsealoud has been developed by British software company Texthelp, which is reaching out to all its customers to update to the latest version of their software. It's always handy to have mining script blocking browser extensions.
Source: Reuters
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49 Comments on US and UK Government Websites Infected with Crypto-mining Malware

#1
xkm1948
We have caught several students on campus trying to use the HPC for mining. Good thing is the IT team is on their A game and all those losers were severely punished.

Would you just f*ucking die already mining??
Posted on Reply
#2
R-T-B
xkm1948 said:
We have caught several students on campus trying to use the HPC for mining. Good thing is the IT team is on their A game and all those losers were severely punished.

Would you just f*ucking die already mining??
Mining resource abuse != all mining.

So no.

Also, WTF does the zootopia image have to do with mining? Btarunr, you genuinely have me confused here.
Posted on Reply
#3
xkm1948
R-T-B said:
Mining resource abuse != all mining.

So no.

Also, WTF does the zootopia image have to do with mining? Btarunr, you genuinely have me confused here.
Started off I don't care much about mining. Now I just view it as another parasitic thing that leeches off power and computational resources while creating nothing. I am not buying into that decentralized currency BS. One global scale disaster and back to primitive way we go. I don't give a flying f*uck about some fancy digital currency.

These crypto currency mining seems to have brought the worst out of most people who are tech savvy enough to attempt it. Remember that TR build I did my one of the research labs? I have already caught one undergrad trying to run monero scripts on it. Needless to say that guy got booted out of the lab with all himself being put on academic probation.

Froggy man may be an exception. However you also cannot pretend not seeing the majority of crypto miners are jackasses.
Posted on Reply
#4
R-T-B
xkm1948 said:
Started off I don't care much about mining. Now I just view it as another parasitic thing that leeches off power and computational resources while creating nothing. I am not buying into that decentralized currency BS. One global scale disaster and back to primitive way we go. I don't give a flying f*uck about some fancy digital currency.
So you let the bad apples color your perspective? Always a good start.
However you also cannot pretend not seeing the majority of crypto miners are jackasses.
I disagree with that claim very much so. The vast majority of hashrate is done from legitimate sources, I would be willing to bet.

You may be able to argue some of the big hash farms are jackasses for stealing video cards, but most INDIVIDUAL miners are in my estimation probably two or three video cards in the home.
Posted on Reply
#5
VSG
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R-T-B said:


Also, WTF does the zootopia image have to do with mining? Btarunr, you genuinely have me confused here.
I assume it's referencing this bit: "The already infamously slow government websites"
Posted on Reply
#6
R-T-B
VSG said:
I assume it's referencing this bit: "The already infamously slow government websites"
I guess I need to watch the movie now, which I'm probably never going to do... I just recognized the creatures from the movie rack. ;)

EDIT: Ah, he's a sloth! My sloth like brain now gets it.
Posted on Reply
#7
lexluthermiester
R-T-B said:
Also, WTF does the zootopia image have to do with mining? Btarunr, you genuinely have me confused here.
Yeah, that was my reaction. Kinda funny though. Is there a point to that choice of picture? What would it be saying about the content of the article?

VSG said:
I assume it's referencing this bit: "The already infamously slow government websites"
Oops. Should have scrolled down further..

R-T-B said:
So you let the bad apples color your perspective? Always a good start.
To be fair, the mining community is causing problems without producing any real product. It's just greed perpetuating itself..
Posted on Reply
#8
R-T-B
lexluthermiester said:
To be fair, the mining community is causing problems without producing any real product. It's just greed perpetuating itself..
If that wasn't inherently debatable, we wouldn't have constant debate on it.
Posted on Reply
#9
lexluthermiester
R-T-B said:
If that wasn't inherently debatable, we wouldn't have constant debate on it.
Didn't say it had no value, only that it's not producing a product, tangible in nature. What isn't debatable is that the existence of cryptocurrencies are causing problems without solving any. And due to things like the problems illustrated in this article happening all over the place, cryptocurrencies desperately need regulation by all of the world's governments.
Posted on Reply
#10
R-T-B
lexluthermiester said:
Didn't say it had no value, only that it's not producing a product, tangible in nature.
That I can agree with. However...


lexluthermiester said:
What isn't debatable is that the existence of cryptocurrencies are causing problems without solving any.
No, I don't agree with that. They solve many problems and are creating interesting technology everyday. What is debatable and questionable is whether the cost is worth it.
Posted on Reply
#11
lexluthermiester
R-T-B said:
They solve many problems and are creating interesting technology everyday.
I might be missing something then. What problems are being solved? And what technologies are being created that have any use other than mining?
Posted on Reply
#12
R-T-B
lexluthermiester said:
I might be missing something then. What problems are being solved? And what technologies are being created that have any use other than mining?
cdawall said:
https://rendertoken.com/

https://foldingcoin.net/

https://curecoin.net/

http://fortune.com/2017/09/12/diamond-blockchain-everledger/

These are just a couple I know of off of the top of my head. Too many people assume blockchain is useless as is the rendering ability of the cards, but that isn't true.
I'd add LBRY, a distributed media platform, namecoin, a distributed DNS system, and siacoin, a distributed storage platform. There are many many more.

As for the inherent day 1 problem it tries to solve? A cheap way to send money internationally without fees. Bitcoin largely fails at this but others have succeeded.
Posted on Reply
#13
xkm1948
Crypto algorithms solves nothing and creates nothing but waste heat.
Posted on Reply
#14
lexluthermiester
R-T-B said:
I'd add LBRY, a distributed media platform, namecoin, a distributed DNS system, and siacoin, a distributed storage platform. There are many many more.
All of those things can be done without cryptocurrencies.
R-T-B said:
A cheap way to send money internationally without fees.
Perhaps, but such opens a very big door to serious/organized crime and even terrorism, two very unacceptable problems. Yet more reasons why cryptocurrencies desperately need regulation..
Posted on Reply
#15
R-T-B
lexluthermiester said:
Perhaps, but such opens a very big door to serious/organized crime and even terrorism, two very unacceptable problems. Yet more reasons why cryptocurrencies desperately need regulation..
I don't disagree it needs regulation, but I feel the inherent traceable nature of blockchain techs makes it actually easily adaptable to that. Law enforcement simply needs to get onboard at the point of exchange.

lexluthermiester said:
All of those things can be done without cryptocurrencies.
Can they? Furthermore, have they? Most of these systems use blockchain at their very core for the "distributed" part. Sure I suppose they technically could be done without the currency, but why is that a bad element? A lot of these places use it for their integrated marketplaces.

xkm1948 said:
Crypto algorithms solves nothing and creates nothing but waste heat.
Feel free to ignore the counterexamples I just posted...
Posted on Reply
#16
R0H1T
R-T-B said:
Mining resource abuse != all mining.

So no.

Also, WTF does the zootopia image have to do with mining? Btarunr, you genuinely have me confused here.
Oh I dunno but how about a rabbit & fox(?) waiting at the front desk in front of a sloth (presumably representing the slow govt sites) seems fairly appropriate.
R-T-B said:
I don't disagree it needs regulation, but I feel the inherent traceable nature of blockchain techs makes it actually easily adaptable to that. Law enforcement simply needs to get onboard at the point of exchange.



Can they? Furthermore, have they? Most of these systems use blockchain at their very core for the "distributed" part. Sure I suppose they technically could be done without the currency, but why is that a bad element?



Feel free to ignore the counterexamples I just posted...
I thought one of the USP's of crypto was it's untraceability? Of course the need to (ex)change BTC/ETH for USD or EUR is what makes the anonymity claim useless.
Posted on Reply
#17
R-T-B
R0H1T said:
Oh I dunno but how about a rabbit & fox(?) waiting at the front desk in front of a sloth (presumably representing the slow govt sites) seems fairly appropriate.
Lol yeah I figured it out later on down.

R-T-B said:
I guess I need to watch the movie now, which I'm probably never going to do... I just recognized the creatures from the movie rack. ;)

EDIT: Ah, he's a sloth! My sloth like brain now gets it.
Posted on Reply
#18
ArbitraryAffection
I wouldn't hate mining so much if the act of mining itself was actually useful. I mean maybe they could hash something like protein folding for Cancer Research. Put all that pure Greed for "fake monies" into helping find a cure for Cancer or another other major disease and actually help humanity.
Posted on Reply
#19
HTC
Nowadays, most stuff if having it's power usage reduced, thus going "greener", but here comes something that uses massive amounts of energy (as a whole) for little to no actual benefit, other then some money after exchanging for hard currency.

ArbitraryAffection said:
I wouldn't hate mining so much if the act of mining itself was actually useful. I mean maybe they could hash something like protein folding for Cancer Research. Put all that pure Greed for "fake monies" into helping find a cure for Cancer or another other major disease and actually help humanity.
This would @ least validate the wasted resources, IMO.
Posted on Reply
#20
R-T-B
ArbitraryAffection said:
I wouldn't hate mining so much if the act of mining itself was actually useful. I mean maybe they could hash something like protein folding for cancer research
I just linked some examples of that here.

R0H1T said:
I thought one of the USP's of crypto was it's untraceability?
It's anonymous, not untraceable. Blockchain is actually one of the most easy things to follow money trail wise. Every transaction is by nature recorded in a public ledger.
Posted on Reply
#21
Readlight
How that island uk can be so rich the government probably do some illegal stuff.
Posted on Reply
#22
R0H1T
Readlight said:
How that island uk can be so rich the government probably do some illegal stuff.
That's like 99.99% of the national govts out there.
Posted on Reply
#23
lZKoce
While in US and UK managed to detect that on their government websites, I just wonder how much time it would take for our guys locally to discover this. I am starting to get really annoyed by this practice. Not so much about my home network as I have taken steps, but this will affect a lot of people now. As I have said before, blockchain technology is revolutionzing the financial services and that is nice I think, but crypto-mining as one of its children is total bullcrap -> not a service and not a physical product.
Posted on Reply
#24
techy1
imagine there was crypto that gives you value for 1 minute you do tire spin burnouts on street... if enough people were doing it and trading that crypto and that crypto value would rise... would that situation still be: "how is that bad?", "that is new technologie", "if dont like it - dont do it"
Posted on Reply
#25
R0H1T
techy1 said:
imagine there was crypto that gives you value for 1 minute you do tire spin burnouts on street... if enough people were doing it and trading that crypto and that crypto value would rise... would that situation still be: "how is that bad?", "that is new technologie", "if dont like it - dont do it"
Now imagine if someone would pay you (ala BTC) for pouring gasoline on the street & lighting it up, instead of ~ let's say using it to transport goods?
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