wallpaper apps secretly mine bitcoin on Android

 According to security firm Lookout, at least 5 apps from Google’s app store can turn Android smartphones and tablets into miners.

 BadLepricon, the malware hides as a wallpaper app that hijacks the user’s device in certain conditions. The app works as a wallpaper app, but it also silently checks battery level, connectivity and display status (whether on or off) every five seconds. When the battery level is over 50%, the display is off and the phone is connected to a network,

 It does so in order to prevent the phone from getting hot while the user actually uses it and thus to prevent detection, as Bitcoin mining puts a serious strain on computing power, thus consuming more battery life than usual and generating more heat in the process. The malware also features a WakeLock feature that prevents the phone from going to sleep even when the display is turned off.It also allows the creator to easily control its Android Bitcoin miners in order to connect them to mining pools or Bitcoin wallets with ease.

The apps contaning  this new malware include Beating heart Live Wallpaper, Epic Smoke Live Wallpaper, Urban Pulse Live Wallpaper and Mens Club Live Wallpaper.

Lookout says its security app protects users from this newly found security threat. Furthermore, the company advises users to have the “Unknown sources” Android system setting unchecked, “to prevent dropped or drive-by-download app installs.”