06.12.2021

Google massively removes rogue mining apps from Play Market

Google began to remove fake applications for cloud mining of cryptocurrencies from the Play Market. IT-company Trend Micro, which identified the applications, announced this on its official website.

Google has begun cleaning up crypto scammers in the Play Market.

The number of victims can be in the hundreds of thousands, Trend Micro notes.

Some scammers directly talk about the fictitiousness of mining in the terms of use.

At the time of this writing, Google has removed eight apps that showed signs of fraud:

  • 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 apps forced victims to watch ads, pay for subscription services with an average monthly fee of $ 15, and pay for advanced cloud mining, Trend Micro analysts found. In reality, the victims received nothing in return.

Fake cryptocurrency mining applications on the Play Market

Some of the applications managed to get over 100,000 downloads. However, it remains unknown whether the indicator is the result of cheating. From a technical point of view, as seen in the image below, fictitious mobile mining was done  using a local simulator that includes counter and random functions.

counter and random functions

In some cases, Trend Micro says premium service subscriptions could go up to $ 190. For example, the Daily Bitcoin Rewards application  encouraged users to upgrade their capacities by “buying” top-end mining devices.

Mining for fun

It is noteworthy that some applications made it clear that there was actually no mining. So, the developers of MineBit Pro wrote in the terms of use that the application is just a game in which there is no cryptocurrency mining function.

Terms of use MineBit Pro

Through the disclaimer, developers have been stripping themselves of their responsibilities to transfer any payments in cryptocurrency to users, experts say. Trend Micro advises paying attention to the praise of applications, checking whether the application verifies addresses for withdrawing cryptocurrencies (scammers do not check the correctness of the information entered), and also find out the service commission.

At the end of July, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation announced the growth of schemes with “pseudo-cryptocurrencies”. According to Valery Lyakh, director of the department for countering unfair practices of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, a popular idea of ​​scammers is an offer to invest in the creation or expansion of the capacities of a “crypto farm”. As an example of such schemes, Lyakh referred to the Artery Network Internet project.

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