If your Android phone is lagging, losing battery life too quickly, or is overheating often, it might have been hijacked by a cryptocurrency miner. These are the guys and gals who are figuring out complex problems to earn a new Bitcoin, or one of several other virtual currencies. These mathematical problems, used to verify cryptocurrency transactions, require serious processing power, more than what is available from a single smartphone.
Bug Swasher, a game loaded from the Google Play Store between 1 million and 5 million times, was mining cryptocurrency without the knowledge of those who installed the game on their phones. A word has been coined for these types of attacks, "cryptojacking."So the latest scam involves cryptocurrency miners taking control of multiple Android smartphones and linking their processing power. This is accomplished by having unsuspecting smartphone users install an app that has malicious software inside. Researchers at IT security firm ESET discovered that
In July, Google announced that it was banning all cryptocurrency mining apps from the Play Store. But not even Google knows exactly which apps are a Trojan Horse for miners. The problem is that because of the processing power required for mining, a hijacked phone could end up with a bloated battery. And in the worse case scenario, an entire handset can be permanently damaged.
For protection from these hackers, fraud expert Laurent Petroque says that Android users should make sure that they have the latest version of the OS available for their phones, load an anti-virus program, and never sideload an app from a non-official source.