After Google just blocked nine dangerous apps that tried to steal Facebook passwords, Google has now banned another line of popular Android apps from its Play Store. This new type of online currency has seen a boom in the past few years as many people have tried to join the revolution and make money quickly. Cryptocurrency Mining (AKA – Crypto Mining) uses the processing power of computers to solve complex math problems that verify cryptocurrency transactions, and the miners are then rewarded with a small amount of cryptocurrency.
The apps that were recently banned by Google claimed to be offering these money-making mining services for a monthly fee.
After logging in, the user was even presented with an activity dashboard showing the app’s performance and the money earned.
However, it was part of an elaborate scam that the Lookout Threat Lab security team found out that – after users paid for the subscription – there was no actual cloud crypto mining going on.
A total of 25 applications have been removed from Google’s official online marketplace. Lookout warned that 100+ apps are still available through third-party stores that allow applications to sideload onto devices.
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Based on Lookout’s analysis, the criminals are believed to have defrauded more than 93,000 people and stole at least $ 350,000.
This money is split between users who pay for apps and buy additional fake upgrades and services. Lookout has now divided these apps into two different families called BitScam and CloudScam.
After Google was notified of the problem, Google immediately removed these apps from Google Play.
Top Coins • Mr Bitcoin • Star BTC • Bitcoin Burn • Moon BAT • Bito Holic • Bito Hash • BitHash • Multi Coins • BitcoinCash Miner
Airdrop • Bright Miner • Pink BTC • XMR Miner • COIN Master • ETHMINER PRO • Crypto Cloud Mining Pro • Btc Miner Pro • Bito Miner • Mining Machine • BTC CLOUD • BTC Cash • Black Crypto • Cloud Mining • Crypto Pro-Miner
“These apps could go under the radar because they actually don’t do any harm,” says Ioannis Gasparis, a mobile security researcher at Lookout. “They are simply clams set up to attract users caught up in the cryptocurrency craze and raise money for services that don’t exist. Buying goods or services online always requires a certain level of trust – these scams prove that cryptocurrency is no exception. “
This latest warning comes after nine other apps were recently removed from the Play Store after they were discovered to have tricked users into giving Facebook credentials.
Are you thinking of using cryptocurrency apps? Here is some advice from Lookout
• Know the developer behind the app. What certificates or credentials do they have, what other apps have they created, does the company have a website and can you contact them?
• Install from an official app store. While scams are hard to spot, downloading them from an official store will reduce your risk of downloading malware.
• Read the terms and conditions. Most of the rogue apps either contain fake information or no terms are available.
• Use other users’ app ratings to your advantage. Reading other users’ experiences with the app can open your eyes when it comes to spotting fraud.
• Understand the app’s permissions and activities. Look for red flags in the app’s activities. Does the app ask for permissions that it doesn’t need to function? If the app crashes or is reset abruptly, is the cryptocurrency balance reset abruptly, are the numbers displayed meaningful?