Microsoft removes eight ‘risky’ crypto-mining apps from Microsoft Store

Cybersecurity firm Symantec has uncovered eight illicit cryptocurrency mining apps on the Microsoft Store, prompting Microsoft to remove them

Microsoft has removed eight cryptocurrency mining apps from its app store due to their illicit nature.

The shady software works by using oblivious victims’ CPUs to mine for Monero. This process is known as ‘cryptojacking‘ and is a scheme commonly used by cybercriminals.

The cybersecurity firm that discovered the cryptojacking apps, Symantec, said in a blog post: “On January 17, we discovered several potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) on the Microsoft Store that surreptitiously use the victim’s CPU power to mine cryptocurrency. We reported these apps to Microsoft and they subsequently removed them from their store.”

The statement continued by suggesting that the eight apps were likely all developed by the same person or group.

Symantec states: “The apps – which included those for computer and battery optimization tutorials, internet search, web browsers, and video viewing and download – came from three developers: DigiDream, 1clean, and Findoo. In total, we discovered eight apps from these developers that shared the same risky behavior. After further investigation, we believe that all these apps were likely developed by the same person or group.”

Monero is often touted as the cryptocurrency of choice for cybercriminals due to the privacy aspects of sending, receiving, and storing the digital asset.

Last week, it was reported that Linux users were prime targets for cryptojackers, as it is easier to infect Linux devices with malware with the direct purpose of mining Monero.

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