Google Play has removed eight cryptocurrency mining apps after these were found to be malicious. In a blog post published on Aug. 18, security firm Trend Micro indicated that hat 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
The cybersecurity software company said that these mining apps were tricking people into watching ads, paying for subscription services that cost an average of $15 per month, and paying for fake increased mining capabilities.
Analysis revealed that the eight identified apps did not have any cryptocurrency-mining behavior, 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.
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Interestingly, two of these malicious apps come at a price. Users need to pay $12.99 to download Crypto Holic – Bitcoin Cloud Mining and $5.99 to download Daily Bitcoin Rewards – Cloud Based Mining System.
Malicious mining apps removed from Google Play
Following the discovery, Trend Micro said that it reported the compromised apps to Google Play, which then promptly removed them.
Despite Google Play’s quick action, Trend Micro said that there are still numerous concerning applications that turn up when searching for “cloud mining” on the platform. Some of these have even been downloaded more than 100,00 times.
“Based on Trend Micro Mobile App Reputation Service (MARS) data, more than 120 fake cryptocurrency mining apps are still available online. These apps, which do not have cryptocurrency mining capabilities and deceive users into watching in-app ads, have affected more than 4,500 users globally from July 2020 to July 2021,” the firm said.
Users who have installed the fake mining apps are urged to delete them. Trend Micro also advises users to use security solutions that can alert them of fraudulent applications to avoid these kinds of threats.