There’s a new virus that has been uncovered with special interest due to its capability to mine cryptocurrency off a smartphone and shut down its internet services.
Reports from the Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab indicate that it can also destroy an Android device, Kaspersky said, making it the 'jack of all trades' when it comes to malicious software.
The Kaspersky team spotted the Loapi virus after they had their test phone destroyed just two days after being infected with the malware.
The company posted some information in a blog spot explaining that the malware gets onto a phone through a user's click on an ad banner, or more commonly, download of an adult content app.
After the virus is installed, it demands administrator rights to the phone, sending endless notifications to the user until they agree. According to Kaspersky: 'Loapi aggressively fights any attempts to revoke device manager permissions.
'If the user tries to take away these permissions, the malicious app locks the screen and closes the window with device manager settings.'
The virus also conducts numerous adverse activities such as mining for the cryptocurrency Monero.
Kaspersky also found that the battery of the smartphone would overheat and smoke due to a large amount of processing power it takes to mine digital currencies.
'The surprisingly unexpected risk which this malware brings is that even though it can't cause direct financial damage to the user by stealing their credit card data.
'It can simply destroy the phone,' Nikita Buchka, a security expert at Kaspersky Lab, told Trusted Reviews.
'This is not something you would expect from an Android Trojan, even a sophisticated one.'
It can also use the phone in denial-of-service attacks which can manipulate how websites are used. Users are advised by Kaspersky that they should only download apps available from official stores and to use reliable anti-virus software.