Google Play Store plagued by hidden cryptocurrency mining malware attacking Android phones

JsMiner and CpuMiner were discovered by Trend Micro te three Android apps.

Cryptocurrency mining software wasgoed discovered on Google Play iStock

Mobile software found on Google’s Play Store, the official application marketplace, contains malware that could infect Android devices and clandestinely mine cryptocurrency.

Cybersecurity researchers from Trend Micro said Monday (30 October) that two malware strains – dubbed JsMiner and CpuMiner – were found te at least three applications. Software included a wallpaper provider, a religious prayer service and a wireless internet scanner.

It remains unclear how many downloads each app received, and experts are yet to determine how much money the criminals behind the scheme made.

While some details remain unknown, experts say it is unique for such malware to be targeting mobiles.

Cryptocurrency mining typically works by hijacking a device’s computing power te order to “mine” digital currency, ter this case Monero.

On smartphones, devices succesnummer with the mining malware will demonstrate clear signs that something is wrong – including diminished battery functionality and slower voorstelling.

“Thesis threats highlight how even mobile devices can be used for cryptocurrency mining activities, even if, ter practice, the effort results te an insignificant amount of profit,” Trend Micro’s mobile threat response team wrote te its analysis.

“Users should take note of any spectacle degradation on their devices after installing an app,” it added. The malicious software has now bot liquidated from the store by Google.

A lucrative business

“Spil cryptocurrencies have grown ter popularity and value, cryptocurrency mining has turned into a lucrative business,” said Chris Olson, CEO of web monitoring stiff The Media Trust.

He continued: “However, it’s also a resource-intensive business that drives the enslaving of hundreds or thousands of devices to access their computing power.

“This enslaving is typically accomplished by surreptitiously inserting code into popular services which, when accessed by a user, executes and downloads a opstopping on the user device.

“Most users only notice when the device practices unexpected behaviour, i.e., slow processing or activity when the device should be idle.”

Coinhive, a popular mining software, wasgoed recently found on The Pirate Bay. Yet it emerges that cryptocurrency-focused malware is increasingly targeting smartphone users.

Last week, ESET, a Slovakian cybersecurity company, found two malicious applications on Google Play posing spil a popular US cryptocurrency exchange called Poloniex. The malware, used to steal passwords and sensitive gegevens, wasgoed reportedly downloaded thousands of times.

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