Leading search engine, Google has banned around 8 illicit apps from its Play Store including BitFunds, Bitcoin Miner, Bitcoin, Bitcoin [BTC], and more. Users are advised to delete them from their smartphone too; check the complete list.
Cryptocurrency mining has been garnering everyone’s interest especially over the span of the last few months. However, hackers are using this public interest in cryptocurrencies to trick innocent netizens into installing a malicious application on their smartphones containing dangerous malware and adware. The great thing is that these malicious actors are identified and Google has removed them. In fact, as many as 8 dangerous apps are far away from Google Play Store that was masquerading as crypto mining apps – users were lured by promises of earning big profits by investing money within a cloud-mining operation.
Security firm Trend Micro revealed that upon analysis it found that these 8 illicit apps were tricking victims into watching ads, paying for subscription services that have a mean monthly fee of $15 USD, and paying for increased mining capabilities without getting anything reciprocally. The research team also reported its findings to Google Play, following which they were promptly removed. The purpose is that Google may have removed them from Play Store, but these apps could have already been downloaded on your phone.
So, what you are advised is to inspect your smartphone for them and delete them quickly as soon as possible.
Here’s an inventory of the 8 malicious apps that Google has been blacklisted 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 Based Mining System
— Bitcoin 2021
— MineBit Pro – Crypto Cloud Mining & BTC miner
— Ethereum [ETH] – Pool Mining Cloud
The research site outlined that two of these apps are paid apps that users got to purchase. While users had to pay $12.99 USD to download Crypto Holic – Bitcoin Cloud Mining, they needed to pay $5.99 USD to download Daily Bitcoin Rewards – Cloud Based Mining System.
Additionally, Trend Micro also revealed that over 120 fake crypto-related mining apps are still available online. “These apps, which don’t have cryptocurrency mining capabilities and deceive users into watching in-app ads, have affected over 4,500 users globally from July 2020 to July 2021,” the firm added within an official web blog post.
Here’s how you’ll recognize a fake crypto mining app:
1. Carefully read the app’s reviews: Fake apps will receive numerous 5-star reviews once they’re released publicly. Pay more attention to 1-star reviews.
2. Attempt to enter an invalid or wrong cryptocurrency wallet address: Trend Micro outlines that if a user encodes an invalid wallet address and therefore the app accepts it and is in a position to perform follow-up operations, there’s a high probability that the app is not legit.
3. Restart the app or phone while it’s within the process of mining: If a tool is restarted after mining starts and therefore the mining application is killed within the background, the system will forcibly clear the counter, resetting it to zero.
4. Confirm if there’s a withdrawal fee: The transfer of cryptocurrency requires a handling fee, which is comparatively high compared to what’s typically made up of cloud mining. Hence, free withdrawals are very suspicious, the firm outlined.