Android Malware That Mines Bitcoin Found in Google Play Store
Malware in our mobile devices creates a lot of problems in terms of data security and fake apps. This problem has been more visible in Android devices, since the operating system used is open sourced, and this makes it easier for predators to take advantage of.
In the past few weeks, Google had to give a US$5 dollar credit refund to more than Ten Thousand Google Play Store customers who fell victim to the supposed fake antivirus app ?Virus Shield?.?This malware problem cost Google almost US$ 270 Thousand dollars, although they will probably take it out of the earnings of the developer. The developer actually claims, that their product is not a fake app, but, they just mistakenly uploaded a faulty app. They also said that they have not taken out their earnings from the Google Play Store.
Google has bigger malware problems than the Virus Shield app. It has been reported that a number of apps in the Play Store act as ?Crypto Miners?.
It is good news, therefore, for Android users, that the Google Play store, where most Android users get their mobile apps, has increasingly tightened the screws on these predators.
The timing could not be better in fact, because, not only information, data and ?legitimate? apps need to be protected, but currency as well…digital currency in the form of Bitcoin ?currency?.
Lookout, an anti-malware company said that their researchers have found a number of apps at the Play Store that secretly steals data and activity from Android mobiles.
The malware apps, which they have codenamed ?BadLepricon apps? are actually apps that deliver a service ? providing ?Live Wallpaper? .
A number of these BadLepricon Apps have had downloads of more than a hundred for each app. ?These apps did fulfill their advertised purpose in that they provided live wallpaper apps, which vary in theme from anime girls to ‘epic smoke’ to attractive men.? said Meghan Kelly, the security communications manager of Lookout. She added in a blog post that ?However, without alerting you in the terms of service, BadLepricon enters into an infinite loop where — every five seconds — it checks the battery level, connectivity, and whether the phone’s display was on.?
At the very least, these BadLepricon apps can create minor problems for your Android device, such as overheating and slowness in processing data.
These apps, however do much more damage. The ?mal-wallpaper? also mines your mobile for data and ?crypto-currency? without you knowing it. This mining is reportedly activated once your mobile connects to the internet.
The increasing use of digital coins made crypto-mining of digital currencies, a must have for these malware predators, as they do not need to convert any stolen data to currency, as they are stealing digital currency that can be then used and ?laundered? instantly.
Some of the more popular digital money that are quietly being stolen are Bitcoin, Dogecoin and Litecoin.
Fortunately, as soon as Lookout reported the matter, Google quickly removed the predator apps from the Play Store. To be on the safe side, however, I personally would advice any Android users to delete any apps that provide Live Wallpaper on their devices.
The Lookout report is not the first time that Android mal-apps have been used to mine crypto-currencies or digital currencies. Several weeks ago, Trend Micro, an antivirus company, reported on two apps – ?Prized? and ?Songs? found on the Google Play Store, that mined Dogecooin and Litecoin currencies, without the users even being aware of it. These apps, now removed from the Play Store, were downloaded by more than a million Android users.
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