Equiliv Investments and developer Ryan Ramminger have settled with the Federal Trade Commission and the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office over the production and distribution of a smartphone application called Prized. While the app was originally marketed as a consumer rewards system, cybersecurity researchers discovered in March that it contained hidden code designed to mine several cryptocurrencies without users’ knowledge. The digital currencies mined by the software included dogecoin, litecoin, and quarkcoin.
The settlement requires that the defendants pay $5,200 out of a suspended $50,000 fine, and in exchange they are not required to admit guilt.
“Hijacking consumers’ mobile devices with malware to mine virtual currency isn’t just deplorable; it’s also illegal. These scammers are now prohibited from trying such a scheme again,”
said Jessica Rich, who serves as director of the Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.
Similar malware has previously been discovered in a variety of downloadable games and other applications, including one called Songs, which was downloaded over one million times. Users in such cases often notice poor battery performance and high data usage, but are frequently unaware of the mining activity.
Read more here – “Mining Malware Developer Settles with Federal Trade Commission,” (Stan Higgins, CoinDesk).