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Malvertising: Why Cryptocurrency Miner on Android Are Dangerous

malicious advertising

Have you heard of the term Malvertising?
Let me explain: Malvertising involves injecting malicious or malware-laden advertisements into legitimate online advertising networks and webpages, In this context we will be talking about mobile app. Online advertisements provide a solid platform for spreading malware because significant effort is put into them in order to attract users and sell or advertise the product.

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Android Susceptibility

Android is Susceptibilty to this kinds of harmful ads

Android operating system is very popular and Android has been the best-selling OS worldwide on smartphones since 2011 and on tablets since 2013. With this popularity comes attacks, so comes unscrupulous element seeking to prey on the gullible android users.

Android was initially developed by Android Inc., which Google bought in 2005, Android was unveiled in 2007, with the first commercial Android device launched in September 2008. The operating system has since gone through multiple major releases, with the current version being 8.1 “Oreo”, released in December 2017.

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Back to the issue, Malvertising. Malvertising combine Cryptocurrency-mining malware is a big problem. A new malvertising campaign is targeting Android users, forcing their phones to mine cryptocurrency, for as long as it can keep them captive on a shady website. The good news is that the scam is easy to avoid; the bad news is that if you fall victim, it could damage your phone permanently.

A California-based security firm have done us all a great favor as the have discovered this wicked scheme. Malwarebytes Labs, based in Santa Clara, Califonia in the US wrote about it on the company blog. According to security researcher Jérôme Segura, the attack is an example of “drive-by mining,” in which a malefactor exploits a device to mine cryptocurrency (in this case, Monero, or XMR) for just a short period of time.

Malwarebytes did not specify which internet sites could be carrying the harmful ads in question, a minimum of one amongst them must be pretty well-liked.

Dr. Augustine Fou, working alongside Malwarebytes, discovered that over60 million visitors have visited the malicious domains, and spent an average of four minutes on the page. that ismost likely equivalent to a few thousand dollars in Monero — and a lot of overtaxed robot CPUs.

Why This Is Dangerous

Sometimes how dangerous a thing is, can be judge by the harm it can cause in a shut period.  This Malware are very dangerous, here is how: Since the website leverages your phone just for a minute more or less and doesn’t leave any traces on your phone, it may appear relatively harmless.

However, cryptocurrency mining is a heavy-duty operation even on a gaming rig; on an android phone, it will be a death sentence. Monero mining runs the phone’s CPU at 100 percent indefinitely, which can cause the chip to overheat. Left uncurbed, this can brick your entire phone — or, more accurately, make a part of it melt.

In other words, running the website for a minute or two at a time is dangerous enough, however imagine what would happen if you didn’t notice the ad, or accidentally forgot to close it, or walked away from your phone while it opened, that can be a very regrettable walk, except you were walking from a bad ex lover.

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How to protect Yourself

The best way to forestall this page from compromising your phone is to run an android antivirus suite. (Malwarebytes recommends its own mobile software, however any program worth its salt can block unwanted pop-under ads.)

If you don’t use an android AV program, you can’t necessarily “avoid” the attack — malvertising is thus insidious, because it can show up on the normally safe pages you use on a daily basis — however you’ll be able to mitigate the harm dealt. As soon as the page pops up, shut your browser straightaway, then notify the site you were using about the harmful advertisement.

How the Attack Works

When you see pop ups like this run!

Here’s how the attack works: First, a user( that is You) encounters a malicious ad on an otherwise-legitimate site. The ad determines what browser a user is running, and by extension, what Operating System. If the ad detects Android, it redirects the user to a malicious page, which claims that the phone is “showing suspicious surfing behavior.” Users have to input a captcha to “verify [themselves] as human.”

You’ve seen similarly shady pages if you’ve spent any time in an Android browser, but this one has a catch: It states that until users complete the captcha, it will “mine the Cryptocurrency (sic) Monero for us in order to recover server costs incurred by bot traffic.” Crazy right?

The part about recouping server costs is bullshit, don’t believe that nonsense about sever cost, , but the cryptocurrency mining part is not bullshit. For as long as a user remains on the page, the webpage will leverage the phone’s CPU to mine Monero. Interestingly, though, once the user enters the captcha and taps Continue, it redirects him or her to Google, and ceases its mining operations. It doesn’t appear to steal any personal information. Thank goodness it didn’t get worse.

We need to Be Cautious

The good thing This particular cryptocurrency mining scam is easily defeated, but it still sets a worrying precedent. If cryptocurrency miners can spread via malvertising, it’s not so easy to protect yourself against them. And if a really clever one figures out a way to run without your knowledge, your phone could be physically ruined before you ever had a chance to address it.

For now, if you have an Android phone, your best bet is to run an antivirus suite, which will stop a lot of this stuff dead in its tracks before it ever hits your screen.

 

 

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