"Cryptojacking": Hacking style, targeting smartphones to mine cryptocurrencies




Enat DigitalBiz @Crypto hacking
Altcoins 

Have you noticed your smartphone suddenly slowed down, warmed up and the battery drained down for no apparent reason? if it happened, it may have been hijacked by a hacker to mine cryptocurrencies by the latest findings.


This new type of cyberattack is called "crypto-jacking" by security experts.

According to the findings, it "consists of entrapping an internet server, a personal computer or a smartphone to install malware to mine cryptocurrencies," said Gerome Billois, an expert at the IT service management company Wavestone.

Mining is basically the process of helping verify and process transactions in a given virtual currency. In exchange, miners are now and then rewarded with some of the currency themselves.

Mining bitcoin, Ethehereum, Monero, and other cryptocurrencies may be very profitable, but it does require considerable investments and generates huge electricity bills.

But hackers have found a cheaper option: surreptitiously exploiting the processors in smartphones.

To lure victims, hackers turn to the digital world's equivalent of the Trojan horse subterfuge of Greek mythology: inside an innocuous-looking app or program hides a malicious one.

The popularity of games makes them attractive to hackers.

"Recently, we have discovered that a version of the popular game Bug Smasher, installed from Google Play between one and five million times, has been secretly mining the cryptocurrency Monero on users' devices' devices," said researchers at IT security firm ESET.

The phenomenon is apparently growing.

"More and more mobile applications hiding Trojan horses associated with a cryptocurrency mining program have appeared on the platforms in the last 12 months," said David Emm, a security researcher at Kaspersky Lab, a leading supplier of computer security and ant-virus software.

"On mobiles, the processing power available to criminals is less," but "there is a lot more of these devices, and therefore taking in total, they offer a greater potential," he added.

It is difficult to know which applications to block," said Pascal Le Digol, the country manager in France for US IT security firm WatchGuard, given that "there are new ones every day."

Moreover, as the miners try to "be as discreet as possible" the apps do not stand out immediately, he added.

Steps to take to protect one's phone.

Besides installing an antivirus program, it is important "to update your Android phone" to the latest version of the operating system available to it, said online fraud expert Laurent Petroqure at F5 Networks.

He also noted that "people who decide to download apps from non-official sources are at more risk of inadvertently downloading a malicious app".

Defending against cyberattacks of all kinds is "a game of cat and mouse", said Le Digol at WatchGuard.

"You need to constantly adapt to the evolution of threats."


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