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Cryptojacking smartphones: The new alternative for secret miners?

Ajay Narayan



Cryptojacking smartphones: The new alternative for secret miners?
Source: Pixabay

Experts say hackers are mining cryptocurrencies through smartphones causing them to overheat to the point they are damaged or destroyed. This type of cyber attack is called cryptojacking, and it involves harnessing the victim’s machine and performing the computations necessary to update cryptocurrency blockchains known as mining.

Gerome Billois, an IT service management expert said:

“[Cryptojacking] consists of entrapping an internet server, a personal computer or a smartphone to install malware to mine cryptocurrencies.”

Mining is a process in which transactions for various cryptocurrencies are verified and added to the digital ledger that is the blockchain. Each time a cryptocurrency transaction is made the miner has to verify the authenticity of the information and update the transaction in the blockchain. By updating all such transactions on the blockchain and adding it to new blocks, the miner gets rewarded with some of the currency.

Mining Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero and other cryptocurrencies can be very profitable, but the huge electricity bills and high investments led hackers finding an alternative which was attacking the processors in smartphones. This creates new tokens to be used by the hacker, leaving the user to shoulder the costs of electricity and wear and tear caused by mining.

Smartphone owners face the consequences as the operation of the phone will slow down and making it warm to the touch as the processor struggles to unlock cryptocurrency and simultaneously perform the functions of a normal phone. Cryptojacking affects mostly smartphones running Google’s Android operating system whereas Apple exercises more control over apps that can be installed on its phones.

To lure victims, hackers use innocuous applications through which they hijack the user’s phone for mining. Gaming apps have been frequently used by hackers to mine currencies. Researchers at IT security firm ESET said:

“Recently, we have discovered that a version of the popular game Bug Smasher, installed from Google Play between 1 and 5 million times, has been secretly mining the cryptocurrency Monero on user’s devices”

David Emm, a security researcher at Kaspersky Lab said:

“More and more mobile applications hiding Trojan horses associated to a cryptocurrency mining programme have appeared on the platforms in the last 12 months.”

The miners are very discreet and there are millions of applications thus making it difficult for the authorities to stop such activities. Online fraud expert Laurent Petroque at F5 Networks said:

“Besides installing an antivirus program, it is important to update Android phones to the latest version available. People who decide to download apps from non-official sources are at more risk of inadvertantly downloading a malicious app”

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Ajay Narayan is a full-time journalist at AMBCrypto. He has majored in Economics, Political Science and Sociology. His interests are inclined towards writing and investing in cryptocurrencies.


Ethereum [ETH] might have caught a break from bears due to formation of ‘Golden Cross’




Ethereum [ETH] might have caught a break from bears due to formation of 'Golden Cross'
Source: Unsplash

Ether, more commonly known as Ethereum, is the world’s second largest cryptocurrency and it might have turned bullish due to the initiation of the ‘Golden Cross’ in the daily chart. Golden Cross, is when the 50-day simple moving average crosses above the 200-day simple moving average, which indicates that the price has turned bullish and that the cryptocurrency has bottomed.

Source: TradingView

Historically, Ethereum’s last Golden Cross took place in February 2017, when the price of ETH was ~$10; the price after this cross was bumped to $1,600, which was a meteoric rise of 15,000%. As bullish as this sounds, this might not be the good news that the crypto community is hoping for, as the ‘Golden Cross’ isn’t absolute and there are times when the crossover could be a fakeout. Crossover fakeouts had occurred for Bitcoin in 2014.

The weekly chart for Ethereum has been consistently forming higher highs since 2019, which is a bullish indication. The MACD indicator and the RSI indicators are both indicating a steady rise since 2019.

All aboard the ‘Speculation Train’

If another meteoric rise is to be expected from the crypto ecosystem, the price has to undergo a parabolic rise. The price of Ethereum at press time was $174 and had a market cap of $18 billion; assuming approximately 10,000% increase [instead of the 15,000% rise], the price of Ethereum would reach approximately $8,000 by March 2020.

A Reddit user @alkalinegs commented:

“if you look at the last golden cross early 2017 it took a few days till something happend. death cross 2018 even resulted in a bulltrap. -> dont expect an immediate reaction.”

Quite a few people use the exponential moving averages and disagree with the use of Simple Moving Averages, which is opinionated. Another Reddit user, @DeliciousPayDay commented:

“I strongly disagree. SMA 200 is more important and everyone in crypto looks at it. After breaking the 200MA at $151 ETH went straight to $180 before being sold off, and bounced directly off the 200MA the next day turning resistance into support. The 50/200 golden cross just happened on the SMA and the last time that happened ETH went from $12 to $1400.”

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