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Mining a bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency is not as easy as investing in it. It takes a ton of processing power to mine a cryptocurrency or make a transaction. In fact, the amount of money required for building a cryptocurrency mining setup would never pay itself off.
Bitcoin is not the only cryptocurrency around, as the segment has seen an immense growth in past one year. Besides, the mining of these cryptocurrencies is also a lucrative business. But why shell out hefty sums to buy this mining equipment when you can hijack other people's mobiles and computers to do the same for you?
Now that's what the hackers are up to. According to Malwarebytes, hackers managed to breach the security barrier of millions of Android phones through malicious ad redirect scam. The exact method is yet to be determined, but it seems the users downloaded the malicious apps that redirected them to a website.
The website directly prompted that it was using the infected device to mine the cryptocurrency, and would only stop if the user enters a valid CAPTCHA code.
The average of time spent by users on this malicious site was around four minutes, but the site had over 30 million visitors per month. If we add the numbers, it is evident that the hackers have mined a huge crypto amount.
Smartphone users are often careless about the security of their devices. According to Pew Research study in 2017 showed that 28 percent of smartphone users don't have a screen lock or any other feature to prevent access to their smartphones.
This makes them even more vulnerable to malware threats. If they can't be bothered to protect their phones physically, it is hard to expect some form of malware protection on their phones.
Malwarebytes recommends users to make use of web filters and antivirus software to keep their device intact from such vulnerabilities. Also, it's imperative to download apps from the Google Play Store, as it is less likely to provide an infected app.