Google Mirrors Apple In Banning Mining Software On Store
Google has made yet another move in the cryptocurrency sector by banning al crypto-mining software and related products from being listed on its Google Play Store. This comes at a time when related malware is rising in use by hackers for even more profit. The policies on the Play Store were re-edited by the company to include a statement saying that the no crypto-mining applications will be available in their store.
A mirrored move
The ban by Google follows a similar and prior one earlier this year where the company completely banned extensions for cryptocurrency mining through its Google Chrome web browser. Apple was also another giant to ban crypto-mining software on its app store. On the other hand, Google still permits the listing of applications than manage mining software.
These bans are a result of increased online criminals and hackers specifically targeting individuals and companies for the computer systems as a means of siphoning enough CPU power to continuously mine for more cryptocurrencies without the rightful owner knowing any better. These “crypto jackers” infect unaware computers and continue mining under an owner’s nose and mainly because the act of mining blocks itself requires immense amounts of power.
Several cybersecurity experts and dedicated companies, among them, being McAfee, Guardicore and others have discovered that malicious crypto-mining has become a bigger threat than ransomware and a new favored method among hackers. Between crypto-malware and ransomware, the former is much subtler in its operations and functions under the radar as opposed to the latter which willing draws attention by demanding ransoms in crypto. Despite its typically anonymous method of mining, the malware often has a noticeable effect on smaller devices.
What began as a means of infiltrating unaware computers, smartphones and more have evolved to target large companies and distinguished businesses. Malware abusers are looking for any chance to break into and infect the corporate entities due to the immense resources and available power they hold which will eventually lead to more mining and bigger gains.
As Fernando Montenegro, lead analyst at 451 Research has stated, cryptocurrency mining itself is not an illegal act and several individuals and companies participate in the act. What is, in fact, a crime is illegally breaking into a computer and siphoning its processing power for personal gain, hence the recent bans by Google and Apple. He adds that this is a beneficial step by both stores to provide enhanced security and protection against such malicious software for the client by what he believes to be a small percentage of developers. Digital mining can occur without any knowledge apart from a noticeable poorer performance by a device, and by banning these mining tools from their application stores, both companies are setting a clear example that cryptocurrency mining is not allowed by them.
He went on to speak about the ban, stating that it was implemented as a means of protecting users from overload on their own devices without any knowledge. Similar to Google, Apple only allowed cryptocurrency mining if it occurs off-device and on external systems like the cloud. Montenegro continues expressing support towards the bans, stating that both companies are aware of the spreading threat and are taking precautionary measures for customers and themselves.
Currently, cryptocurrency mining is rising in popularity quickly among the public as a means of acquiring profit and is fueling further development of MaaS offerings. A prime example is Argo, a cryptocurrency mining service that permits users to mine without the need of spending excess finances by registering to its premium mining service.