New malware masquerading as innocuous Google Play apps will use your smartphone to mine for Bitcoin, according to reports.
A security intelligence blog, Trend Micro, reported that it found several apps on Google Play that were using smartphones to mine for digital currency such as Bitcoin, Dogecoin and Litecoin. The end result means a shorter battery life and likely a shorter lifespan for your smartphone.
One of the apps affected, Songs, has been downloaded millions of times, while another named Prized, was downloaded as many as 50,000, according to Ars Technica. Neither of the apps let users know they would be commandeering their smartphones to mine for digital currency. As of Thursday afternoon, both apps were taken from Google Play.
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The apps each had secret mining software which would then use the smartphone to gather the digital coins. Unfortunately, mining for digital currency is rough on processors, and smartphones have smaller, streamlined processors that aren't equipped to do such a mammoth job. Although the malware only has the phones mining when being charged, users may notice their devices running hot or using a lot of bandwidth.
Users will likely figure out something's wrong with their phones when it doesn't charge fully, seems to be hot to the touch, or its data usage has gone haywire. Users should uninstall the apps and install smartphone security software.