Slow Smart Phone? You Might Have Been Hacked For This!
Has your smartphone suddenly slowed down, warmed up and the battery drained down for no apparent reason? If so, it may have been hijacked to mine cryptocurrencies. Readwrite.com calls this new type of cyber attack "cryptojacking".
Legitimate cryptocurrency mining operations link thousands of processors together to increase the computing power available to earn/find cryptocurrencies. Mining bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies may be very profitable, but it does require considerable investments and generates huge electricity bills. But hackers have found a cheaper option: surreptitiously exploiting the processors in smartphones.
To lure victims, hackers turn to the digital world's equivalent of the Trojan horse. The popularity of games apps makes them attractive for hackers The hackers generally put out a game that runs the mining in the background which you unknowingly download to play the game.
It's a growing problem too. But for smartphone owners, the mining is at best annoying as it slows down the operation of the phone, and makes it warm to the touch as the processor struggles to unlock cryptocurrency and accomplish other tasks.
Security firm ESET says in a Yahoo! article "that on Android devices, the computational load can even lead to 'bloating' of the battery and thus to physical damage to, or destruction of, the device."
You might be safer if you have an iPhone model as cryptojacking affects mostly smartphones running Google's Android operating system. Why are iPhones safer? Well, that is because Apple exercises more control over apps that can be installed on its phones, so hackers have targetted iPhones less.
Here are some steps to take to protect your smartphone. Besides installing an antivirus program, it is important to update your Android phone to the latest version of the operating system available to it. Also, never download an app from a third party website, as you are more at risk for receiving malicious software.