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Eight Cryptojacking Apps Discovered By Symantec On Microsoft Store

A report emanated from cybersecurity company Symantec Corporation on Friday, February 15th about the discovery of eight Windows Apps on Microsoft Store that focuses on mining Monero (XMR), a cryptocurrency focused on privacy, without the permission or knowledge of its users.
Symantec Corporation is the principal authority where cybersecurity is concerned all around the globe. The company affords governments, people and organizations top-notch security for their most significant data wherever it is located. A lot of enterprises across the globe depend on Symantec for integrated cyber defence against attack across cloud, endpoints and infrastructure.
Over 50 million individuals and families depend on Symantec for the protection of their devices, identities, personal information and home networks.

Symantec Exposes the Cryptojacking Culprits

On the 17th day of January, Symantec brought to the notice of Microsoft “several potentially unwanted applications (PUAs)” that it discovered on Microsoft Store, which Microsoft got rid of, according to the company. The eight apps appeared to be from three developers namely, Findoo, DigiDream and 1clean, but after Symantec conducted further investigations, the company has concluded that “all these apps were likely developed by the same person or group.”
Symantec, in a blog post, described the way the apps operate:

“As soon as the apps are downloaded and launched, they fetch a coin-mining JavaScript library by triggering Google Tag Manager (GTM) in their domain servers. The mining script then gets activated and begins using the majority of the computer’s CPU cycles to mine Monero for the operators. Although these apps appear to provide privacy policies, there is no mention of coin mining on their descriptions on the app store.”

Illegal Crypto Mining a Major Cyber Threat

Symantec referred to “JavaScript library” which is simply “a version of the Coinhive library.” Coinhive is actually a company that “offers a JavaScript miner for the Monero Blockchain” that without difficulty can be inserted on websites. According to Symantec, despite the fact that some websites notify their users that Coinhive is being used to make money from Monero mining in order to offer an experience free from ads, ever since the services of Coinhive came online in September 2017, “there have been many reports of it being used for crypto jacking without site visitors’ knowledge.”
According to the report disclosed by Bloomberg on Dec 14, 2018, concerning the research conducted by Kaspersky Labs, a Russian cybersecurity company, “hijacking computers to illegally mine cryptocurrencies has overtaken ransomware as the biggest cyber threat in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa.”

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