Hackers Now Use Android Phones and Smart TVs to Mine Cryptocurrency
It’s no news that cryptocurrency mining is big business and in a bid to maximize profit, miners have devised various methods of maliciously installing their crypto mining malware on unsuspecting users. Smart television sets and Android phones are the new home for the Monero mining malware.
Monero on Television
Chinese researchers at Netlab360 have recently discovered hackers turning internet-connected gadgets into Monero mining tools. According to CNET hackers have installed malware on thousands of Android phones and Smart TVs and use the resources from these devices to mine Monero.
Chinese cybersecurity researcher at 360Netlab, Wang Hui, wrote in a blog post on February 4, 2018, that a cryptocurrency mining malware known as ADB.Miner has started spreading quickly. The malware reproduces quickly using the ADB debug interface on port 5555 to multiply.
In essence, the malware exploits the open port that is used to allow a device to communicate with the internet. The cyberpunks search for devices connected to the internet via port 5555, and this helps them find unsecured Android phones and TVs.
So far, the attack has affected thousands of devices. The cybercriminals have already hacked into vast networks of gadgets and harnessed their processing power to mine or digitally create the Monero cryptocurrency. The Netlab360 team said:
“Overall, we believe malicious code based on the Android system ADB debug interface is now actively spreading in worms and infected over 5,000 devices in 24 hours. Affected devices are actively trying to deliver malicious code.”
The ZDNet team contacted Google for a comment on the issue, but the owners of the Android operating system did not immediately respond to the request.
However, the cybersecurity experts did tell ZDNet that the port 5555 was not opened by the hackers themselves, which would have been a much more worrying attack. They said:
“The 5555 ADB interfaces of those devices have already been opened before [they’re] infected. We have no idea about how and when this port was opened yet.”
It appears attackers find it much easier to mine cryptocurrency using malware deployed on the internet than through attacking peoples computers and asking for large ransoms. On January 31, 2018, BTCManager reported that hackers embedded Monero mining malware on YouTube ads.
Although this malware does nothing else than use peoples system resources to mine cryptocurrency, it is still imperative to guard against them by regularly updating your anti-malware software.