Google recently removed eight fraudulent cryptocurrency mining apps from its official app store that is Play Store. All the eight fake mining apps removed were loaded with fraudulent functions like watching Ads and paying for subscription services.
The cybersecurity experts at Trend Micro analyzed all the eight apps that were removed from the Play Store and reported that all of them were loaded with malware called FakeMinerPay and FakeMinerAd.
Not only that even they have also claimed that the average monthly fee of US $15 was charged from their victims and the operators of these fake apps also increase the mining capabilities as well.
Here’s the list of fraudulent apps mentioned below:-
- 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
Among the above-mentioned apps, there are two apps that are paid:-
- Crypto Holic – Bitcoin Cloud Mining costs US$12.99
- Daily Bitcoin Rewards – Cloud Based Mining System costs US$5.99
Fake Cryptomining Capability
In reality, all these apps don’t perform any mining activity, since they are fake, so each and everything is fake.
But, apart from this, the operators of these fake apps easily trick their victims into paying for any subscription or else trick them to watch unwanted ads.
Even they also prompt their victims to pay more fees for increased cryptocurrency-mining capabilities, and this service ranges from US $14.99 to as high as $189.99.
Fake Ad Clicks
In this case, particularly there are two fake crypto-mining apps that have engulfed all its targets with unwanted ads.
- Bitcoin [BTC] – Pool Mining Cloud Wallet
- Bitcoin 2021
So, here, the primary motive of the operators of these two fake crypto-mining apps is to trick their victims to click into those ads and generate their illicit revenue.
Moreover, to lure their victims the threat actors also prompted their targets with crypto rewards with withdrawal feature, and in return what they have to do is invite their friends to download the withdrawal interface.
While the cybersecurity expert, Cifer Fang at Trend Micro stated that:-
“The app called Daily Bitcoin Rewards – Cloud Based Mining System prompts its users to upgrade their crypto mining capacity by ‘buying’ their favorite mining machines to earn more coins at a faster rate. Users are prompted to click on ads during fraudulent crypto-mining activities to prove that users are not robots. Users are informed that they can start mining after viewing video ads within the app. [Also] users are informed to watch in-app video ads to increase mining speed.”
Recognize a fake cryptocurrency-mining app
The security firm Trend Micro has recommended few suggestions on how to recognize a fake cryptocurrency-mining app, and here they are mentioned below-
- Always look after the app’s reviews, as the fake apps will always have several 5-star reviews, but here what you have to do is pay more attention to the 1-star reviews.
- Always start with an invalid cryptocurrency wallet address, as the fake apps will never ever check for a real wallet.
- During the mining process restart your phone and check if the coin counter resets to zero or not, if you found the coin counter with zero value, then definitely it’s a fake app.
- Always check if the transfers of cryptocurrency asking for handling fees or not, as the real transfers cost you handling fees.
The cybersecurity analysts at Trend Micro have strongly suggested users to use security solutions to stay safe from such security flaws.
As the security solutions come with multilayered security features that help the user to protect their device and essential data from several types of security threats.