It is not news that cryptocurrency has been gaining lots of interest and popularity from people across the world over the last year or so. But like every growing spect in the tech space, hackers always find a way to take advantage of the public interest for their own malicious gain. Cryptomining is known to not be the most secure activity that one can rely on but cyber attackers seem to have taken that even a step further. Google was forced to get rid of as many as 8 mobile apps from the PlayStore that were masquerading as cryptocurrency mining apps. This was after the tech giant found them being used to luring users through promises of big profits by investing money in cloud-mining operations.
A report from security firm Trend Micro states that these eight malicious apps were tricking victims into watching ads and paying for subscription services of up to $15 (KES 1600). This is alongside requests of paying for increased mining features only to get nothing in return.
These findings were then submitted to Google Play Store that immediately acted upon. They include:
- 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
If this sounds familiar to you, that is because we have had to cover similar stories. This includes the Amazon Web Worker app that disappeared with money invested by Kenyans in hopes of getting huge returns.
According to Trend Micro, 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 company wrote in a blog.
Additionally, the 8 banned apps can still be found on various sites and downloaded on devices despite not being available on the Play Store. So, there are a number of users who are bound to fall victim to them one way or another.