Yes, you read that correctly – “drive-by” cryptocurrency mining is now an actual thing. This refers to ad and link campaigns on the internet that bring people to specific websites. Once on the website, the malicious code will then execute commands and force your device to use all of its resources to mine cryptocurrency. You might say that you’ll probably stay on the site for a few minutes max, and that’s not much mining time. But multiply that by a few million users and it’s a totally different story.

Drive-by mining is a new type of campaign that aims to earn cryptocurrency money by using other people’s resources. This happens in two ways on an Android device – either your browser get redirected to the drive-by mining site via false advertising, or you get directed there by a Trojan infection from a malicious app. The site presents a pseudo-CAPTCHA code, and you need to enter the code to move on. The time spent before the user enters the code is the same time that the site throttles your CPU to full speed mining Monero cryptocurrency.

Based on research data, this new campaign generates around 800,000 site visits per day, with users staying on the website an average of four minutes. The researchers say that the site probably earns a couple of thousand dollars a month, based on the numbers. But when Monero gains more monetary value, the yield of this illegal campaign could easy double or triple.

The reminders for users continue to be the same – make sure you install apps that are from known publishers, and make sure you do your research on apps based on what you need them to do. Don’t install suspicious apps, and apps that you don’t need anyways. User browsing behavior needs to improve as well.

SOURCE: Malware Bytes