updated 10:27 am EDT, Thu March 27, 2014
CasinoCoin, Dogecoin, Litecoin variants all spotted on 'hundreds' of devices
New Android malware is making the rounds, with the latest threat being a piece of software that when installed, maxes out the device's processor mining for crypto-currencies. The "CoinKrypt" malware has three known variants, processing for CasinoCoin, Dogecoin, and Litecoin.
The malware isn't terribly efficient, nor sophisticated. On security researcher Marc Rogers' device, a Nexus 4, the malware would generate 0.01 litecoins after a full week of mining. Additionally, the malware doesn't hide very well, immediately maxing out the processor and paying the generated currency to a hard-coded address.
"First you'd notice that your phone would be quite sluggish. The second thing is your battery life would drain," said Rogers, who works for Lookout Software. "I think the final thing is you'd notice your phone getting hot."
Rogers concludes -- based on both the ease of discovery and the low payout to the creator -- that "clearly this was an experiment by malware authors, and clearly it was unsuccessful." The value of the malware to its author, however, does not stop it from spreading or jeopardizing the functioning of affected Android phones.