Thousands of government websites have been hijacked by hackers to mine cryptocurrency, in a process known as “cryptojacking”, it has emerged. The sites, including the Information Commissioner’s Office, the Scottish NHS helpline and the Student Loans company – along with hundreds of other central and local government sites – appear to have been running a power-pinching program that uses visitors’ computers to mine cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum. The websites were infected with malware called Coinhive, which works by hiding in a website’s code, while stealing the processing power of its visitors’ devices to mine cryptocurrency. Bitcoin is a digital currency that uses decentralised technology for secure payments and storing money that doesn’t require banks or people’s names.
The digital coins are stored in an anonymous digital wallet, to be withdrawn at a later date. Visitors… We rely on advertising to help fund our award-winning journalism.
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