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First large scale mobile mining malware hits millions of Android users

A new Android exploit has users unwittingly mining for Monero. (Source: Malwarebytes)
A new Android exploit has users unwittingly mining for Monero. (Source: Malwarebytes)
"Millions" of Android users have been affected by a cryptocurrency malware exploit, according to researchers at Malwarebytes. Users are redirected to a website that hijacks their device and mines for the Monero cryptocurrency.
Sanjiv Sathiah,

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The latest to malware to hit Android users is a “drive-by” mining attack that directs users to a malicious website which then hijacks their smartphone hardware to mine the Monero cryptocurrency. Uncovered by researchers at Malewarebytes, the exploit has affected millions of Android users. The attack mines the cryptocurrency in the background of the user’s browser of choice, maxing out the CPU in the process.

Malewarebytes says it first observed the campaign in late January, but then traced back the activity to November. Although not fully certain how the exploit works, the researchers believe that mobile advertising infected with malware could be causing the redirects to the cryptomining site. Unusually, the affected users are then presented with a warning requiring them to enter a captcha code. When entered, the mining stops; however, until then, the affected smartphones are being utilized for every thread they are able to process.

The Malewarebytes team recommend that Android users run web filtering and other security software on their devices to avoid such attacks. Android has many pluses, but its open source nature can leave it much more vulnerable to exploits making it equally attractive to users and hackers alike.

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Sanjiv Sathiah
Sanjiv Sathiah - Senior Tech Writer - 1290 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2017
I have been writing about consumer technology over the past ten years, previously with the former MacNN and Electronista, and now Notebookcheck since 2017. My first computer was an Apple ][c and this sparked a passion for Apple, but also technology in general. In the past decade, I’ve become increasingly platform agnostic and love to get my hands on and explore as much technology as I can get my hand on. Whether it is Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Nintendo, Xbox, or PlayStation, each has plenty to offer and has given me great joy exploring them all. I was drawn to writing about tech because I love learning about the latest devices and also sharing whatever insights my experience can bring to the site and its readership.
contact me via: @t3mporarybl1p
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2018 02 > First large scale mobile mining malware hits millions of Android users
Sanjiv Sathiah, 2018-02-14 (Update: 2018-02-14)