Malicious applications mining cryptocurrency have become a lot more common in the past few months. It seems every criminal and their pet is working on some way to use other people’s computing resources to mine Monero or other currencies. Some app developers integrate this option to provide access to premium features. One such app made its way onto Apple’s App Store, but it has since been removed.
Apple Removes Troublesome Monero App
Malicious cryptocurrency mining has become quite popular over the past six months. In most cases, criminals will try to infect computers with malware designed to use their victims’ computer resources to mine various cryptocurrencies. This doesn’t mean they are mining Bitcoin, as Monero has proven to be a more than popular solution these days. We’ve seen an influx of Monero mining malware, which seems to mainly be targeting Windows users as of right now.
One exception comes in the form of a Mac app known as Calendar 2. Although this is a calendar application first and foremost, it also hijacks the user’s computing resources to mine Monero in the background. According to Apple, this particular app puts “heavy strain” on users’ devices, mainly in the CPU department.
Some users have even reported that the Calendar 2 app uses nearly all of their CPU power to mine cryptocurrency on behalf of an unknown individual. This is a very worrisome development, although one user pointed out that the malware in question uses a Monero miner. For now, it seems this application has been successfully removed from the App Store, although it is unclear whether additional malicious apps exist.
Even though the calendar functionality of this app works as advertised, there is an option to gain access to premium features. Those looking to enjoy such features but without paying can donate their CPU resources to mine Monero. With the app consuming a lot more CPU power than advertised, users have been eager to point out that this app essentially hijacks one’s computing resources.
Apple has now removed the app due to a “violation of the guideline 2.4.2”. More specifically, applications on the App Store should never purposefully drain a battery, generate heat, or put unnecessary strain on device resources. Since the app was removed, the developers of Calendar 2 have removed the Monero-mining feature altogether, as they are not certain why it was using so much CPU power in its current form. It now seems to be a matter of time until the app is reinstated without this feature.
Unfortunately, it appears we will see more and more applications of this type in the future. While the option to opt in was received well by users at first, not having an option to opt out has always been a pressing problem, for obvious reasons. As the Calendar 2 debacle goes to show, integrating this feature for the right reasons can still have disastrous consequences in the long run.