Illegal crypto mining apps discovered on Microsoft Store

Illegal crypto mining applications have been found and removed from the Microsoft Store. The mischievous operations of the applications were unearthed in mid-January this year.

The discovery of the illegal crypto mining apps on Microsoft Store was discovered by an external source who then alerted Microsoft. The apps were then pulled down from the store. The apps’ developers had secretly included a crypto mining program to help mine Monero.

The applications which were eight in number were reportedly created by 3 developers who disguised the illegal crypto mining apps as either tutorials for those aiming to optimize their batteries, video viewing, web searching, among other areas.

As reported by ZDNet, the applications were named as Battery Optimizer (Tutorials), VPN Browsers+, Downloader for YouTube Videos, Clean Master+, FastTube, Findoo Browser 2019, and Findoo Mobile & Desktop Search.

ZDNet elaborated adding that:

All the apps worked in a similar fashion. All loaded the Google Tag Manager (GTM) library within their source code, through which they later downloaded and executed the actual malicious payload. This last piece of code was a pirated version of the infamous Coinhive, a JavaScript library that many hackers have secretly added on hacked sites to mine Monero using visitors’ browsers.

However, according to Symantec, a United States-based cybersecurity firm, it is the first time illegal crypto mining applications are being found on Microsoft Store. A senior software engineer at the firm said that an indication of whether you are a victim of the apps’ illicit behavior is an increased CPU usage.

Unfortunately, the number of infected computers could not be established since Microsoft Store does not keep a countdown of the number of times an application has been downloaded.

Do you think the illegal crypto mining apps may have affected a notable number of computers since they covered crucial human interest areas?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.


Philip is an experienced blogger keen on staying updated with trends and news surrounding the blockchain and Bitcoin space. With several years of freelance experience in various industries, Philip brings his knowledge and experience into the crypto space.

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