Google Play Removes 8 Fake Crypto Mining Apps

Google Play took down 8 fake crypto-mining apps that are reportedly run by scammers.

8 cryptocurrency mining apps have been removed from Google Play after the American giant tech company found them to be malicious. The company announced the news on Aug. 18.

In the published document, the security firm Trend Micro said that due to a large number of people who are interested in learning about mining cryptocurrency, cybercriminals are actively exploiting people’s interests.

According to the firm, these cybercriminals exploit people not just by deploying cryptocurrency-mining malware, but also by creating fake Android apps that target those interested in digital coins.

Further, Trend Micro said,

“We recently discovered eight deceptive mobile apps that masquerade as cryptocurrency cloud mining applications (detected by Trend Micro as AndroidOS_FakeMinerPay and AndroidOS_FakeMinerAd), where users can earn cryptocurrency by investing money into a cloud-mining operation.”

In addition, the company indicated that the following apps are fraudulently operated by hackers:

  1. BitFunds – Crypto Cloud Mining

  2. Bitcoin Miner – Cloud Mining

  3. Bitcoin (BTC) – Pool Mining Cloud Wallet

  4. Crypto Holic – Bitcoin Cloud Mining

  5. Daily Bitcoin Rewards – Cloud Based Mining System

  6. Bitcoin 2021

  7. MineBit Pro – Crypto Cloud Mining & BTC miner

  8. Ethereum (ETH) – Pool Mining Cloud

Moreover, the cybersecurity software firm stressed that these mining apps fool people into watching ads. Also, they trick people into paying for subscription services that cost an average of $15 per month — also, paying for fake raised mining capacities.

Based on the reports, the 8 identified apps did not have any crypto-mining behavior. Besides, Trend Micro revealed that the fake mining action on the apps’ user interface (UI) is carried out through a local mining simulation module with a counter and random functions.

Two of these malicious apps come with a price. They ask users to pay $12.99 to download Crypto Holic – Bitcoin Cloud Mining and $5.99 to download Daily Bitcoin Rewards – Cloud Based Mining System.

After discovering this, the firm said that it reported the endangered apps to Google Play. Google then immediately removed them.

Despite that Google Play acted fast and removed the apps, Trend Micro said that there are still many apps that turn up when searching for “cloud mining” on the platform. More so, some of these apps have even been downloaded more than 100,00 times.

Following this, the firm added,

“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."

Further, the company urges people who have installed fake mining apps to delete them. Trend Micro also encourages users to use security solutions that alert them of deceitful apps to avoid these kinds of threats.