What is a botnet?
A botnet is a number of Internet-connected devices, each of which is running one or more bots. Botnets can be used to perform distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS attack), steal data, send spam, and allow the attacker access to the device and its connection. Botnets are usually malicious but they can also be used in a positive manner.
Alexey Khripov has created a legal botnet, he’s done this by being able to access millions of android devices via the distribution of his google play games. His monetization strategy was simple, use the computing power of the phone to mine various cryptocurrencies. He recently conducted this operation with Puzzle, one his more popular games, having 10 million downloads.
Yet, his plans for long term monetization have been thwarted. Anti virus companies have stopped Puzzle, stating background operations of mining were not friendly and could border on malicious activity. After this and other events he chose to remove the feature and provided users with another app to download, Reward Digger, this app was much more direct and explicit, for their toil and effort in assisting his mining operation, they would receive in game rewards.
But again, just like Vasco De Balboa facing numerous problems seeking gold in the land of El Dorado, Alexey faced another obstacle. The search giant Google had banned his app.
Alexey chosen to go in a different direction from his original plans and now detracting and not deploying mining code in his arsenal of apps that he has deployed. These apps although widely popular and would assist him in his mining efforts greatly can’t be risked.
No malicious activity
Khripov insists he has not and is not doing any sort of malicious activity and simply seeking to make money in a creative fashion. He provides value to the end user and was able come up with a creative monetization strategy that didn’t involve a direct transfer of funds from the end user. The users were aware of what they had and what he was doing, yet even then he couldn’t succeed.
The user would have to have to choose what the level of mining would be and then start the mining, this was all supposed to be done without any harm to the user, his/her data, or the phone.
With his plan, everyone won, the user was able to receive their enjoyment and in game rewards and he was able capture profits.
An issue is, if Google accepts this behavior for one app, it must accept it for all apps. But the question is, so what? If the users are aware and are willing to do this and are kept safe from malicious activity, who cares? Benefits are being derived for all and there is no downside.
General Google Play Crypto Mining
Some other developers have followed suit by adding their own cryptocurrency miners on their own apps. Yet, a few are doing so without permission and utilizing it to obtain altcoins such as Monero which has a stigma for being the drug dealer’s choice of coin.
You may have also heard about the mining operations on popular sites such as the UFC site which was recently found to have this issue, also mining for Monero.
Overall, the crypto space is proving to show interesting and unique aspects, allowing for people to earn money in different ways, it is also showing what sort of creative approaches many will take to go after earnings.
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