Crypto-Currency Hunters Targets Android Platform

By CIOReview | Tuesday, April 1, 2014
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FREMONT, CA: The crypto-currency hunters are attacking Android mobile platform in their bid to churn out the crypto currencies such as Litecoin, Dogecoin and Casinocoin. Bitcoin is one crypto-currency that takes enormous high-power computing to be generated and hence the attackers are switching to other forms of crypto currencies by attacking mobile platforms, reports Lookout.

Lookout is a company which provides mobile security, calls the malware family as CoinKrypt. It’s a malware designed to hijack the Android-based phone and use it to mine digital currency for somebody else. CoinKrypt has been found in Spanish forums proliferating through pirated software.

Mobile phone users affected by this malware would experience warmer phones and shortened battery-life. It can also make a deep hole into the users pocket by usurping all the data that comes with the data plan by periodically downloading a copy of the currency transaction history also called block chain which can be several gigabytes in size. The malware has been detected mostly in France and the current detection levels are very low for this threat. CoinKrypt is comprised of three small program sections or classes embedded in the target app. This malware initiates the mining process in the mobile phone.

Mining of Bitcoin and related crypto-currencies is quite demanding for a computer and mobile hardware. The criminals are after the newer and the emerging crypto-currencies, mining for them with subtlety by using people’s mobile phones. While Bitcoin is priced at around $450, Litecoin is closing to $20. Enormous amount of computing power from high-end computers is required to generate a single Bitcoin which is driving the miners to hunt for other more viable digital currencies.

The whole concept behind the need for crypto-currency mining is: the user has to allow his computer’s resources to be used to validate waiting crypto-currency transactions. When the transaction gets validated, it is added to the block chain. For the computing time that the user lent to the network of crypto-currency mining, the network rewards miners (the one who lent their computer resources) with newly created coins (crypto-currency.) For Bitcoin mining, it takes dedicated computer hardware resources but mining of other types of crypto-currencies could be done using mobile platforms.