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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Crypto News: This Russian Has The Power To Turn 100,000 Android Phones Into Cryptocurrency Miners

This Russian Has The Power To Turn 100,000 Android Phones Into Cryptocurrency Miners

A "legal botnet" might seem like an oxymoronic statement. At best, it's risky phrasing. Most associate "botnets" with hordes of hacked computers controlled by a hidden botmaster with monstrous machinations, more often than not illicit profiteering.

But "legal botnet" was the term used by Russian developer Alexey Khripkov (who also goes by oxothuk, amongst other names) when describing his access to hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, of Android devices thanks to his wildly popular games on Google's platform. His plan to monetise those games was via a crytocurrency miner, which would use up the phone's computing power in the background to carry out the mathematical puzzles required to unlock coins of various alternative currencies, mainly Magicoin. In recent months, he added the capability to Puzzle, a game with 10 million downloads, hoping all those users would help him turn a tidy sum.

Khripkov's plans have been scuppered, however. In recent days, anti-virus companies started blocking Puzzle, deciding the mining was malicious, as noted by cybersecurity researchers at Ixia, which published a blog on the developer's work Tuesday. Subsequently, he chose to remove the feature entirely, giving users the option to download another app, Reward Digger, that would give them in-game bonuses for helping him mine coins. But he says Google banned that app soon after Forbes' contact with him on Tuesday, leading him to suspect security researchers' warnings to the Android maker were causing him strife. (Google had not provided comment at the time of publication, neither on whether it had removed the app or, if so, why. Whatever the case, Reward Digger is no longer available on the Play market).

Full story at

Source: Forbes

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