Malware on any of your devices is no good. Malware can infect pretty much anything that connects to the internet, phones, computers, tablets, and even IoT devices.
The hackers are trying to make money in some fashion, either directly from you or by using your device as a means to take it from others. It could be set up to steal personal information, pop up endless ads, used in DDoS attacks, sending texts, or signing up for paid services.
But most can’t do all of those.
“Jack of all trades”
This particular malware does it all. Called Loapi, it infects Android phones and seems to be very versatile being able to adapt to several uses. But its main function is mining a new type of digital currency called Monero.
So called drive-by cryptocurrency mining is on the rise. To make coins you need a lot of computing power. But that is very expensive and out of reach of most people unless you are doing it on a huge scale.
So they find a way to use a bunch of people’s devices for free. Some apps that allow the creator to “borrow” your devices’ resources to mine coins will ask the user for permission as a form of payment for using said app.
Loapi is not that, once infected it tries to take over your phone.
Loapi is so hostile that it basically causes your phone to self-destruct by over using it. The CPU is drawing so much power, the battery will overheat and start to expand.
Batteries don’t have much room in phones, but the battery expansion has to go somewhere. So your phone will start to bulge, popping out the screen and the phone’s internal components.
Loapi gets on to your phone by downloading third-party apps that are malicious. That’s why we always say only download apps from official app stores like the Google Play Store or iTunes. That is the easiest way to protect yourself, albeit not fool-proof.
Adware found in the Google app store
You might think that the Google Play Store is safe from malicious adware, but that’s not always the case. No matter how hard Google tries, it can’t manage to keep the adware barbarians from storming its gates.