ESET, the company behind the popular Nod antivirus, has detected a malware application until recently available on GooglePlay, which scammed budding miners by topping up the account of its developer, My Portable Software, the Bratislava-based IT titan said in a statement.
The app named MoneroMiner was formally meant to mine the so-called Monero cryptocurrency (XMR) in a mobile browser, with the total amount of obtained coins showing up in a separate box. Just to note, previous reports centered around alleged fake miners, whose mining function was not officially stated in their description.
"The trouble is that all the revenues ended up on the developer’s account, irrespective of which wallet address users typed in as they were changing their app settings following the downloading," the statement reads.
Despite the low rating and plenty of negative feedback, the app was downloaded up to 50,000 times, ESET remarked. Following the ESET-issued warnings, the miner was taken down from the GooglePlay platform.
"Ubiquitous obsession with cryptocurrency mining tends to play into the hands of crooks. Some of them disguise the mining function in mobile applications that they come up with, to carry out undercover mining operations on users’ gadgets. Others, conversely, intentionally develop apps to deceive beginning miners," ESET Russia representative Sergei Kuznetsov was cited as saying in the statement.
To prevent adverse scenarios, ESET has urged before downloading a mining program on your smartphone, to take a look at the number of downloads, reviews and score that other users give it. However, the basic protection is as always a modern mobile antivirus, the company underscored.