- Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab has discovered a new Android virus
- Loapi is a virus that can get onto a phone when a user clicks on an ad banner
- It then conducts a range of activities including mining for cryptocurrencies
- This process requires large processing power and causes the battery to overheat
A new powerful virus has been found that can mine cryptocurrency off a smartphone and shut down its internet services, according to the Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab.
It can also destroy an Android device, Kaspersky said, making it the ‘jack of all trades’ when it comes to malicious software.
The virus is called Loapi and was spotted by the Kaspersky team who had their test phone destroyed just two days after being infected with the malware.
By clicking on ad banners or adult content, like the ones pictured above, Android users may be exposed to the Loapi Trojan virus
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF
- Only install apps from official stores
- Disable the installation of apps from unknown sources
- Fewer applications are better – only install what you need
- Get reliable software security for Android device
In a blog post the firm explained 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.
Once installed, the malware demands administrator rights to the phone, sending endless notifications to the user until they agree.
Kasperskay said: ‘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.’
Loapi then conducts numerous adverse activities such as mining for the cryptocurrency Monero.
When testing this in the lab Kasperskary found that the battery of the smartphone would overheat and smoke due to the large amount of processing power it takes to mine digital currencies.
The Kaspersky Lab pictured in Moscow discovered the Loapi Trojan virus and called it ‘the jack of all trades’ when it came to malicious software
‘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.’
The Loapi virus can also use the phone in denial-of-service attacks which can manipulate how websites are used.
Kaspersky said to avoid the Loapi virus users should only download apps available from official stores and to use reliable anti-virus software.
Kaspersky’s own software has come under fire recently as governments have advised against using the Russian firm’s software on internal networks over fears of spying.
Earlier this week Kaspersky asked US courts to lift the federal ban on their software, explaining that the company is not under Kremlin influence and poses no security threat to America.