Cryptocurrency mining has caught everyone’s curiosity, particularly in the previous several months.
Hackers, on the other hand, are taking advantage of the public’s excitement in cryptocurrencies to mislead unwary internet users into installing harmful apps on their devices that carry dangerous malware and adware.
The good news is that these malicious actors have been found and removed from Google.
In fact, Google Play Store has banned up to 8 harmful apps that were posing as cryptocurrency mining apps, luring users in with promises of large returns by investing money in cloud-mining operations.
According to security firm Trend Micro, these eight malicious apps were deceiving victims into watching adverts, paying for subscription services that cost an average of $15 per month (about $1,115), and paying for greater mining capabilities without receiving anything in return.
Google Play was notified of the company’s findings, and they were quickly removed.
The point is that while Google may have removed them from the Play Store, you may already have them installed on your phone.
So, look through your phone for them and delete them as soon as you find them.
The following is a list of the eight harmful apps Google has deleted from 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
Two of these apps, according to the research site, are paid apps that users must purchase. Users had to pay $12.99 (about $966) for Crypto Holic – Bitcoin Cloud Mining, but only $5.99 (approximately $445) for Daily Bitcoin Rewards – Cloud Based Mining System.
Furthermore, according to Trend Micro, more than 120 fake cryptocurrency mining applications are still available on the internet.
“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 on a blog.
Here’s how to spot a fake cryptocurrency mining app:
- Carefully read the app’s ratings: Once released to the public, fake apps will get plenty of 5-star evaluations. Give 1-star reviews greater consideration.
- Try entering an invalid or incorrect bitcoin wallet address: According to Trend Micro, if a user enters an invalid wallet address and the software accepts it and does follow-up operations, the app is likely to be fake.
- Restart the app or phone while it is mining: If a device is restarted after mining begins and the mining app is stopped in the background, the system will reset the counter to zero.
- Confirm whether there is a withdrawal charge: The transfer of cryptocurrency incurs a processing cost, which is very large when compared to the profits normally generated by cloud mining. As a result, free withdrawals are extremely suspicious, according to the firm.
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