Trend Micro has discovered a new form of cryptomining Android malware that could be capable of killing infected devices through overzealous resource usage.
Dubbed HiddenMiner, the new malware package is designed to mine the Monero cryptocurrency that has become a popular Bitcoin alternative for hackers and cybercriminals. It does so with no regard to the safety of the device it has infected, which can lead to battery bloat, overheating, and device destruction similar to that caused by the Loapi malware outbreak in late 2017.
Device destruction isn’t the only dangerous capability that HiddenMiner has going for it—removing it from pre-Nougat (Android 7.0) devices is practically impossible. That may not seem like an immediate problem to users of the top flagship Android devices, but devices running Android 7.0 and above account for less than 30% of total Android devices.
Trend Micro reports that HiddenMiner has been detected in India and China, which makes sense considering that the market share of pre-Nougat Android devices is higher in India and Asia compared to the global average.
Android users elsewhere shouldn’t grow complacent, though: Trend Micro says it’s only a matter of time before HiddenMiner appears in other parts of the world.
Submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht