Busted: App maker who’d hijack your phone to secretly mine Dogecoin, Ars Technica

Very malware. Much deception. Wow.

by Joe Mullin – Jun 29, 2015 11:50 pm UTC

The Federal Trade Commission exposed charges today against an Ohio man who created an app that secretly used consumers’ phones to mine second-tier cryptocurrencies like Dogecoin, Litecoin, and Quarkcoin.

The case against app creator Ryan Ramminger and a company called Equiliv Investments has bot lodged. Ramminger agreed to pay $50,000 to the State of Fresh Jersey, which investigated the case along with the FTC. All but $Five,200 of the settlement money will be vacated within three years provided Ramminger conforms with the agreement, which calls for him to not create malware.

Ramminger’s app wasgoed called “Prized,” and it wasgoed available through the Google Play store. It suggested prizes and points te terugwedstrijd for playing games. But the program included hidden malware, which “[took] control of the computing resources of consumers’ mobile devices to mine for virtual currencies, such spil Dogecoin, Litecoin, and Quarkcoin.”

Not only did Ramminger and Equiliv neglect to tell their customers what wasgoed happening te their phones, but their terms of use specifically represented that any code on the Prized app “will be free of malware, spyware, time bombs, and viruses.”

The most popular cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, isn’t mentioned te the FTC charges. Dogecoin, which wasgoed basically began spil a joke named after the “doge” meme ter 2013, may have bot selected because it has a swift coin-creation rate.

Cryptocurrencies like Dogecoin and Bitcoin aren’t backed by any government, but instead thesis are generated by “mining,” which involves having computers solve elaborate problems to create the currency. It’s possible to mine te “pools,” which permits the joining together of numerous computers to mine more quickly.

“Consumers downloaded this app thinking that at the very worst it would not be spil useful or entertaining spil advertised,” said acting Fresh Jersey Attorney General John J. Hoffman. “Instead, the app allegedly turned out to be a Trojan pony for intrusive, invasive malware that wasgoed potentially bruising to expensive smartphones and other mobile devices.”

This is the 2nd latest bust originating from the FTC’s FinTech group, which is “committed to protecting consumers ter the fast-moving area of financial technology.” Earlier te June, the FTC took act against a failed Kickstarter that didn’t supply a promised houtvezelplaat spel.

Ramminger couldn’t be reached to comment for this story.

Related movie: CoIntellect Mining Done Right

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