There is nothing like an area of interest that begins to attract the general public for cybercriminals to focus on it. And right now, one of the hottest digital topics is undoubtedly cryptocurrencies and the method to get them: The cryptocurrency.
In fact, precisely because of the increasing number of people interested in learning how to mine cryptocurrencies, cybercriminals are actively exploiting people’s interest not only by deploying cryptocurrency mining malware, but, as Trend Micro experts point out, “Creating fake Android applications that target those interested in virtual currencies.”
8 scam apps that you should delete
The cybersecurity company has discovered up to 8 deceptive mobile apps posing as mining apps in the cryptocurrency cloud (detected by Trend Micro as AndroidOS_FakeMinerPay and AndroidOS_FakeMinerAd), in which users can earn cryptocurrencies by investing money in a cloud mining operation.
However, after analysis they discovered that “these malicious apps only trick victims into seeing ads, pay for subscription services that have an average monthly fee of $ 15 and pay to increase mining capacities without getting anything in return “. None of the applications is available right now, since after being informed, Google quickly removed the apps from its Play Store for Android.
These are the fraudulent applications that are no longer available in the Play Store:
- BitFunds – Crypto Cloud Mining
- Bitcoin Miner – Cloud Mining
- Bitcoin (BTC) – Pool Mining Cloud Wallet
- Crypto Holic – Bitcoin Cloud Mining
- Daily Bitcoin Rewards – Cloud Mining System
- Bitcoin 2021
- MineBit Pro – Cryptocurrency and btc cloud mining
- Ethereum (ETH) – Cloud Mining
Two of them are even paid applications that users have to buy; Crypto Holic – Bitcoin Cloud Mining costs $ 12.99 to download, while Daily Bitcoin Rewards – Cloud Based Mining System costs $ 5.99.
There are still 120 more
It is important to note that when searching for keywords “cloud mining” on Google Play, “we still find numerous applications concerning the same type.” Some of them have downloaded even more than 100,000 times.
Based on data from the Trend Micro Mobile App Reputation Service (MARS), more than 120 fake cryptocurrency mining apps are still being used for the victims. These apps, which do not have cryptocurrency mining capabilities and mislead users into viewing in-app ads, have affected more than 4,500 users worldwide from July 2020 to July 2021. MARS also detects all of these samples What AndroidOS_FakeMinerPay y AndroidOS_FakeMinerAd.
The research also found that some of these bogus cryptocurrency mining apps were inducing their users to click on ads rather than prompting them to pay for more computing power. These applications, specifically Bitcoin (BTC) – Pool Mining Cloud Wallet and Bitcoin 2021, they have the following malicious characteristics:
- The interfaces are flooded with advertisements.
- Users are asked to click on ads during fraudulent cryptocurrency mining activities to prove that users are not robots.
- Users are informed that they can start mining after viewing in-app video ads.
- Users are advised to watch in-app video ads to increase mining speed.