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Friday, 23 February 2018 08:29

LA Times serving cryptocurrency mining script Featured

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The Los Angeles Times website is serving a cryptocurrency mining script which appears to have been placed there by malicious attackers, according to a well-known security expert.

British infosec researcher Kevin Beaumont, who has warned that Amazon AWS servers could be held to ransom due to lax security, tweeted that the newspaper's site was serving a script created by Coinhive.

The Coinhive script mines for the monero cryptocurrency.

The S3 bucket used by the LA Times is apparently world-writable and an ethical hacker appears to have left a warning in the repository, warning of possible misuse and asking the owner to secure the bucket.

In his warning, issued recently, Beaumont had also pointed to a number of S3 buckets where the friendly warnings were present.

AWS S3 buckets have been found to be world-accessible on many occasions, notably by the security firm UpGuard.

coin hive

The script found on the LA Times website.

UpGuard has found misconfigured Amazon Web Services S3 buckets leaking data from Paris-based brand marketing company Octoly, California data analytics firm Alteryx, credit repair service National Credit Federation, the NSA, the Pentagon, global corporate consulting and management firm Accenture, publisher Dow Jones, a Chicago voter database, a North Carolina security firm, and a contractor for the US National Republican Committee.

warning

The warning left on the LA Times S3 bucket.

Screenshots: courtesy Kevin Beaumont

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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