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Monday, 18 February 2019 11:49

Eight apps in Microsoft store mine for monero

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The eight apps that mine for monero. The eight apps that mine for monero. Courtesy Symantec

Security firm Symantec says it has found eight apps in Microsoft's app store that mine the cryptocurrency monero surreptitiously and has advised the company about this.

The apps offered different functionality: computer and battery optimisation tutorials, Internet search, Web browsing, and downloading. They were created by three developers: DigiDream, 1clean, and Findoo.

The samples of these apps found by the Symantec team ran on Windows 10, including Windows 10 S mode.

Once any of these apps are downloaded and launched, they download a JavaScript library by activating Google Tag Manager in their domain servers.

After that, the mining script gets activated and appropriates CPU cycles to mine monero.

All the apps were published between April and December 2018 with most making an appearance towards the year-end.

"Even though the apps were on the app store for a relatively short period of time, a significant number of users may have downloaded them," Symantec said.

"Although we can’t get exact download or installation counts, we can see that there were almost 1900 ratings posted for these apps.

"However, app ratings can be fraudulently inflated, so it is difficult to know how many users really downloaded these apps."


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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