Loapi: The Android Malware that can Physically Damage Your Phone

A while back, I wrote an article on bitcoin and offered a brief explanation on what mining is and how to earn cryptocurrencies through it.

Now it has come to the attention of anti-virus experts that there is an Android malware by the name Trojan.AndroidOS.Loapi capable of harming Android devices physically.

A test phone damaged by Trojan.AndroidOS.Loapi activities. Photo: Kaspersky Lab

The malware executes a host of malicious activities including showing continuous ads, DDoS attacks, subscribing to paid services, sending text messages to any number and cryptocurrency mining.

The malware is hidden in apps and is spread through browser ads, and SMS spamming.

According to experts at Kaspersky Lab, the malware mines Monero, a newer version of cryptocurrency.

The malware hijacks and makes use of battery power and hardware in infected phones to generate new coins.

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Researchers at Kaspersky Lab undertook a lab test of Trojan.AndroidOS.Loapi and after two days the test phone’s battery buldged to an extent it deformed the phone’s cover.

This is discovery is worrying because it means the malware can cause bodily harm to unsuspecting owners of infected phones.

Loapi is hard to get rid once it acquires administrative permissions (which it bombards users to assign it).

It becomes near impossible to get rid of because it restricts installation of security apps that can help disinfect the phone.

While it is not yet clear whether apps from Google Play Store may be infected, you’re better off not downloading apps from unverified sites or clicking on random browser ads.

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