Cambridge to assess future of plug-in that caused 'hack' of website

The City of Cambridge will consider the future of the BrowseAloud plug-in on its website after it was part of a global 'cryptojacking' attack to mine digital currencies.

'Cryptojacking' incident will not deter online voting plans for municipal election

Through BrowseAloud, hackers hijacked 4,000 websites, using them to run a Javascript called Coinhive, which is used to mine the cryptocurrency Monero. (Shutterstock)

The City of Cambridge will consider the future of the BrowseAloud plug-in on its website after it was part 
of a global cryptojacking attack to mine digital currencies.

Through BrowseAloud, hackers hijacked 4,000 websites, using them to run a Javascript called Coinhive, 
which is used to mine the cryptocurrency Monero. 

The Cambridge website was one of over 200 websites in Canada that were affected.

Two things to consider

City of Cambridge spokesperson George Georgiadis said the city will determine if the service is 
still needed and if they'll continue to use the software.

"Still trying to assess if this is a service that we still need to continue to provide," said Georgiadis.

With BrowseAloud, website users with visual impairments or trouble reading have the option of the website reading its content to them.

Georgiadis said the BrowseAloud vendor has told them that they've made modifications to secure the service. 


Attack will not deter online voting plan


Cambridge used online voting in 2014 without a problem and plans to use it again in this fall's election, scheduled for Oct. 22. 

Georgiadis said Cambridge will use a third-party provider called Dominion Voting Systems. He's confident the company has the proper protections in place to ensure the integrity of the vote. 

He added that the city will be allowing residents to vote by paper ballot as well as online and by phone. 

"If there's a high risk, we won't go with [online voting]," he said.