Malwarebytes Reports Monero Hack on Android Users

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Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:47 am

Malwarebytes Reports Monero Hack on Android Users

Monero (XMR) is at it again with another drive-by cryptomining campaign. This time the target is millions of Android users who may have been unknowingly mining for the coin through their smartphones and tablets. It was discovered by Malwarebytes in January while researchers were investigating the Monero Chrome hack. They determined this newest campaign had been going on since at least November 2017.

Drive-by mining is defined by Malwarebytes as a technique that is “automated, without user consent, and mostly silent (apart from the noise coming out of the victim’s computer fan when their CPU is clocked at 100 percent).” The current hack seems to be focused specifically on Android users who are asked to solve a CAPTCHA to prove they are human. According to the report, “until the code (w3FaSO5R) is entered and you press the Continue button, your phone or tablet will be mining Monero at full speed, maxing out the device’s processor.” It then directs them to the Google home page, a move that further alerted researchers to abnormal activity.

The report also states, “we identified several identical domains all using the same CAPTCHA code, and yet having different Coinhive site keys. The first one was registered in late November 2017, and new domains have been created since then, always with the same template.” Since forced crytomining is on the rise, it is recommended Android users run the same security tools used on their PC on their mobile devices to prevent further hijacks. ... oid-users/ ... es-1812276

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