No Telegraph, really, just no

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.

No, the websites aren’t hijacked. They’re infected. They’re not using the servers to mine, they’re using visitors’ computers.

Sigh. You’d think the young shavers would get this part of the world right, wouldn’t you?

13 comments on “No Telegraph, really, just no

  1. Just because people use computers, doesn’t mean they have any idea how they work.

    I regard most of it as witchcraft, which it might as well be – I have no more understanding of how it works than a peasant who has been cursed. Makes using technology much easier if you think if it like that.

  2. I have no more understanding of how it works than a peasant who has been cursed. Makes using technology much easier if you think if it like that.

    A possibly surprisingly high percentage of well-paid “technologists” work on the same principle.

    Some of us are just the ones doing the cursing 🙂

  3. To slightly correct my last – many people understand how technology works (at least until you get down to the necessary but utterly confusing quantum mechanical bits.) Very few of those have any understanding of why it stops working, especially for intermittent faults.

    For those old enough to remember, the Alas Smith and Jones witch-doctor sketch around the photocopier* is pretty close to reality.

    * May have been a printer, they were going to do the other one next.

  4. If someone can get some JavaScript in your server, that it’s doing some bitcoin mining is the least of your worries.

  5. @SE

    I was trying to track down a youtube clip but my googlefu is lacking; “Alas Smith and Jones” with “photocopier” only throws up this Indy article about how the office photocopier had made the poster a staple of workplace humour:

    Think you’re funny? Tell it to the boss

    THERE’S AN Alas Smith and Jones sketch from many years ago which goes something like this; Socrates is sitting at the bar of a pub in ancient Greece dispensing nuggets of philosophical wisdom to the uninterested barman when another customer walks up. While buying a drink, he comments: “You don’t have to be mad to work here, but it helps!” Upon this, the bar manager looks greatly excited and exclaims: “That’s the best thing I’ve ever heard. I’ll write it down and put it up behind the bar!” (Much to poor Socrates’ disgust).

    The article refers to Smith and Jones as being “many years ago” and yet the article itself is 20 years old. 1998. Bloody hell. What a way to put the years on. I mean, they were middle-aged-ish on the younger side when they made it, Smith was middle-aged-ish on the older side when he died recently, doesn’t feel like it was that long ago…

  6. @Ecks

    Anything else is just grist to the mill.

    Unless said article relates to the air conditioning business. In which case it’s mist to the grill.

  7. The closest equivalent I can think of is when we blindfold Polly and give Snippa control of the electro stim device… I think the idea that Snippa is in control, excites her to excess

  8. “If someone can get some JavaScript in your server, that it’s doing some bitcoin mining is the least of your worries.”

    I assume you’ve never heard of node.js.

  9. node.js : If someone can get some JavaScript in your server, that it’s doing some bitcoin mining is the least of your worries.

    Not seeing much of difference here, really.

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