With talk that mining digital currency, particularly bitcoin, has become so difficult with everyday hardware, it would likely be difficult to believe your phone is doing just that. But for some app users, it’s very much happening.
Security company Trend Micro discovered at least two applications for Android that are stealthily mining digital currency without making the end user aware.
These applications are listed on the Google Play store, not surprisingly, where they are easily found and downloaded (for free, mind you). In fact, one of the apps that has been caught is called Songs, which has been installed between 1 and 5 million times. The other application, Prized, has been installed significantly less, between 10,000 to 50,000 times.
To not raise user suspicions, the apps have been designed to only mine when the device is charging. Otherwise, a user would likely feel their device warm up and rapidly lose battery charge whilst using the application.
Going back to the original point I made. While it might not seem like one device could mine anything of significance, an army of devices could net the app’s developers something, and that something is enough to keep the feature in.
That is until Google decides to give it the ax or when users decide to jump ship. [source: BGR]