US-China Association of Commerce Website Infected With Cryptocurrency Mining Malware

Technology > Security

A hacker using a laptop to hack a website. / Photo by: Getty Images


A cryptocurrency mining malware is lurking on the website of the US-China Association of Commerce. Visitors to the site can have their computers sequestered by the malware and used in mining cryptocurrency. The malware found on the USCAC website was Coinhive which is used in mining the Monero cryptocurrency, according to Neer Varshney, reporting for The Next Web.

The USCAC bills itself as a “community of entrepreneurs and professionals” whose aim is to promote friendship and understanding between the American and the Chinese governments. It counts thousands of business organizations among its members. 

The malware was discovered by cybersecurity researcher Troy Mursch from the Bad Packets Report team, who said that the malware could have sneaked onto the website because it was running an outdated version of the Drupal content management system. Mursch added that the last time the website got an update was back in December 2011, based on the USCAC source code. He stressed that websites running older versions of Drupal are highly susceptible to malware and can be exploited on a large-scale basis. Mursch described as unfortunate that as many as 115,000 websites host outdated versions of Drupal. Previously, Mursch published a list of 400 compromised websites that were running outmoded versions of Drupal, including those of computer maker Lenovo, computer hardware manufacturer D-Link, and the University of California Los Angeles. 

The issue has not yet been reported to the USCAC, but Mursch pointed out that he had been coordinating with the Drupal security team and the US Computer Emergency Response Team. Moreover, he also advises website administrators using Drupal to get the latest version of the software to avoid becoming a victim of cryptocurrency mining malware. Users can also download browser extensions such as minerBlock and No Coin which stop popular crypto-mining software from taking control of vulnerable computers.