• Google Play removes eight fraudulent cryptocurrency mining apps operated by scammers

  • Eight cryptocurrency mining apps were removed from Google Play after they were discovered to be malicious. Trend Micro stated in a blog post published on August 18 that the following apps are fraudulently run by hackers:

    • BitFunds – Crypto Cloud Mining
    • Bitcoin Miner – Cloud Mining
    • Bitcoin (BTC) – Pool Mining Cloud Wallet
    • Crypto Holic – Bitcoin Cloud Mining
    • Daily Bitcoin Rewards – Cloud Based Mining System
    • Bitcoin 2021
    • MineBit Pro – Crypto Cloud Mining & btc miner
    • Ethereum (ETH) – Pool Mining Cloud

    According to the cybersecurity software company, these mining apps tricked people into watching advertisements, paying for subscription services that cost an average of $15 per month, and paying for fictitious increased mining capabilities.

    Trend Micro explained that the fake mining activity on the apps’ user interface (UI) is done through a local mining simulation module that comes with a counter and some random functions, which revealed that the eight identified apps did not have any cryptocurrency-mining behavior.

    Surprisingly, two of these malicious apps have a cost. Crypto Holic – Bitcoin Cloud Mining costs $12.99 to download, while Daily Bitcoin Rewards – Cloud Based Mining System costs $5.99.

    Google Play has been cleared of malicious mining apps.

    Trend Micro stated that following the discovery, it reported the compromised apps to Google Play, which promptly removed them.

    Despite Google Play’s quick action, Trend Micro claims that there are still a slew of troubling applications that appear when searching for “cloud mining” on the platform. Some of these have been downloaded over 100,000 times.

    “According to Trend Micro Mobile App Reputation Service (MARS) data, there are still more than 120 fake cryptocurrency mining apps available online. From July 2020 to July 2021, these apps, which do not have cryptocurrency mining capabilities and trick users into watching in-app ads, affected over 4,500 users globally, according to the firm.

    Users who have installed the bogus mining apps are advised to uninstall them. Trend Micro also recommends that users use security solutions that can detect fraudulent applications in order to avoid these types of threats.

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