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Monero [XMR] mining through hidden miners – Another android malware

Abhishek Anil

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Monero [XMR] mining through hidden miners - Another android malware
Source: Flickr

Cyber Security firm Sophos had discovered 19 Android apps that load an instance of Coinhive script without user knowledge being circulated in Google Play Store in February this year. The strategy followed by the hackers is it downloads and installs modules of which subterfuges as antivirus or adult content apps.

These apps download and install several modules which perform different actions varying from stealing SMS to creating proxy and mining Monero [XMR]. It slows down the phone and warms it up because of the strain on the CPU.

Similarly, Trend Micro, a Security firm has discovered HiddenMiner, an Android malware. The etymology lies behind its ability to prevent itself from being discovered and removed. This software is powered to mine Monero. 

A Twitterati commented:

“Hackers have become so sly that have started hiding Monero cryoptominers in a picture of Scarlett Johansson! “

These apps include the abuse device administrator features to remain hidden and runs in the background till the device runs out of power or fails due to overheating. It retains administrator privileges by locking the screen’s device using a flaw in Android Operating system.

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The researchers have also found mining pools and wallets corresponding to the malware, among which, one of the pool operators withdrew an amount close to $5,000, which is almost 26 XMR.

Lorin Wu, a mobile threats analyst with Trend Micro wrote:

“This is similar to the Loapi Monero-mining Android malware, which other security researchers observed to have caused a device’s battery to bloat. In fact, Loapi’s technique of locking the screen after revoking device administration permissions is analogous to HiddenMiner’s”

A Security Researcher who goes by the name Elliott commented:

“I don’t think these apps are the original apps. The ‘hacker’ modified it and repacked it and after that, he uses multiple dropper apps to distribute these modified apps. Only the package name and the app name has been changed and I just dig up more and in fact, this is the same app 291 times which means there are 291 applications with different icons and names,”

The emergence of apps such as Coinminer, Loapi, etc. has brought upon a new era of cryptocurrency hacking. Android users to prevent their phones from being used for unauthorized mining should refrain from installing APK’s from unauthorized sources and rely on verified apps on Google Playstore and other legitimate businesses.

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Bitfinex partners with EOSIO as a Blockchain Producer

Sthuthie Murthy

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Bitfinex partners with EOSIO as a Blockchain Producer
Source: Pixabay

Bitfinex, headquartered in Hong Kong is the largest Bitcoin trading platform with over 10% of the exchanges’ trading. They offer state-of-the-art services for digital assets and liquidity providers. While their search for advanced technologies with the capacity to meet high-demands of a high-volume blockchain both legally and technically was in process, they came across EOSIO community to which they believe they can contribute significantly.

Latest tweet by Bitfinex:

“Bitfinex is pleased to present itself as an EOS Block Producer candidate.”

Bitfinex will act as an incubator to fund, nurture and advise teams that are serious about the future of EOS. Their team is an assortment of more than 100 experts from the industry including a highly versatile development team, legal experts, technical support agents, and industry advocates.

They claimed:

“Our team has gained invaluable industry experience along the way, and we aim to make use of this to enrich the teams around us — sharing information and providing guidance whenever possible.”

Being a block producer candidate, they pledge to grow the open-source nature of the decentralized digital asset space. This is done through intense research, collaborations, and community development. They aim to combine the potential of EOSIO with their own terms of research, development, and adoption at a much higher level.

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A high-performance decentralized exchange platform, EOSfinex also aims to combine the scalability and potential of EOSIO. It is built on EOSIO technology, along with the financial/development expertise of the Bitfinex development team. EOSfinex looks forward to delivering a highly-scalable, on-chain trading platform.

They added:

“EOSfinex has been developed by considering speed, transparency and scalability and will be the first trust less exchange to be implemented on EOSIO-based networks.”

Apart from the development of a trustless exchange, EOSfinex will be leading the development of a secure and intuitive EOS wallet as well. The partnership is meant to leverage EOSIO’s platform for horizontal scaling of DApps. As their continuous search led them to the EOSIO platform, they aim to process tens of thousands of transactions per second with the lowest fees.

Judy Steven, a Bitfinex user says:

“This is exciting. I’m interested in learning more about this “intuitive wallet” you are developing.”

Ariana Paul, a speculator says:

“Congrats Bitfinex! Looking forward to seeing what great accomplishments Bitfinex will bring to the EOS ecosystem. I can see a three-digit price for EOS soon.”

Lessie Grundon, a market observer said:

“Honestly, I don’t think this is good. To me decentralisation is all about random people having a right to produce blocks and vote the way ahead.”

EOS has been one of the top gainers in the market that has turned bearish recently displaying significant volume gains up to 52% and currently trading at $13.19. The market cap has also noticeably gained and is worth $10 billion roughly as seen at press time.

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Jed McCaleb talks about the foundation of Stellar Lumens [XLM]

Ketaki Dixit

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Jed McCaleb talks about the foundation of Stellar
Source: PxHere

The BayPay Thought Leadership event was held on 19th April, where Jed McCaleb, the Co-Founder, and CTO of Stellar Development Foundation spoke about the past, present, and future of Stellar.

He started by explaining how the transactions on Stellar work and about how they get banks on board. He says that banks are not the first ones to take up this system of transaction. However, smaller financial institutions like money transfer operators that focus on payments will be more open to adopting this method of sending money.

He said:

“We are working with a few banks and none of them are in production. I don’t think of the banks using cryptocurrency are in production… I don’t think they’re going to do anything until they see a lot of money flowing somewhere else in the ecosystem first because they are the most risk-averse, they have the most to lose essentially.. we spend most of our time outside the US – mainly focus in South Asia, Africa.”

He further explains that there is a lot of friction in places where people do not have bank accounts, wherein the adoption of the Stellar network makes it easier for them to adopt the system.

When asked about how much responsibility they have as a network to allow ICOs to function, Jed talks about the company being unable to stop anyone from issuing a token on the network but they wouldn’t be involved in the same. However, he says “Our responsibility falls on the ones that we do work with.. we want to make sure there is reputable and valuable projects”.

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He also says that people need to be careful while investing in ICOs as these are the early days in the space, due to which there are a lot of scams and fraudulent activities.

A crypto enthusiast commented:

“This was a great discussion. I loved how Jed did a great job answering the questions even though they were irrelevant. I think it could have been more detailed about the backstory of Stellar and the challenges the faced instead of talking about Jed’s life history. Im sure the audience wanted to know more than just unnecessary things.”

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