A new Monero Mining Android malware dubbed ANDROIDOS_HIDDENMINER that uses the device CPU power to mine Monero malware and could cause the device to overheat and potentially fail.
The Hiddenminer app posses like a legitimate Google Play update app and forces users to grant device administrator permission by deploying it in a continuous loop until user clicks activate button.
Security researchers from Trend Micro discovered this Monero mining Android malware dubbed ANDROIDOS_HIDDENMINER. According to researchers “one of its operators withdrew 26 XMR (or US$5,360 as of March 26, 2018) from one of the wallets. This indicates a rather active campaign of using infected devices to mine cryptocurrency”.
Hiddenminer malware similar to the Loapi that generates a constant load that makes the battery bulged and damages the phone cover.
Once the malware gets required permission it starts mining process in the background and it has no switch in place, which means it continuously run’s the monero miner until the device resource exhausted.
As of now, it is found only in the third party Android market stores and it is targeting users in India and China. These third-party markets are open to everyone and there is one validation process.
Hidding techniques – HiddenMiner
HiddenMiner employees stealthy techniques to hide in devices once it installed. It uses to empty the app label and shows transparent icon after installation which makes harder for users to detect.
“Once activated the device administrator, it will hide the app from the app launcher by calling setComponentEnableSetting(). Note that the malware will hide and automatically run with device administrator permission until the next device boot”, researchers said.
HiddenMiner also takes advantage of the Android bug that resolved in Nougat and later Android OSs. Before Nougat the device admin application is privileged to lock the screens.
So in HiddenMiner case, it is already running as admin application which lock’s user screen when they try to uninstall the app from the device.
Indicators of Compromise can be found in TrendMicro’s blog post.
Common tips to Catch Fake Android App
- Look at the publish date.A fake app will have a recent published date.
- Do a little research about the developer of the app you plan to install.
- Very important – read all app permissions carefully.
Common Defences On Mobile Threats
- Give careful consideration to the permission asked for by applications.
- Download applications from trusted sources.
- Stay up with the latest version.
- Encrypt your devices.