Dozens of Android Cryptocurrency Mining Apps Turn Out to Be Scams

Be careful around Android apps that claim you can mine Bitcoin in the cloud. A security firm has uncovered dozens of cloud-mining apps for Android that do nothing but defraud their users. 

The findings come from antivirus vendor Lookout, which identified over 170 Android apps that scammed people interested in cryptocurrencies. Many of the apps offered cryptocurrency mining services through servers operated on the internet. In exchange, users had to pay for the app. However, Lookout’s investigation discovered no cryptocurrency was actually generated. 

“Based on our analysis, they scammed more than 93,000 people and stole at least $350,000 between users paying for apps and buying additional fake upgrades and services,” Lookout said, citing installation numbers for the apps. 

Twenty-five of the programs were also available on the Google Play Store, ranging in price from $10.99 to $20.99. In response to Lookout’s report, Google took down the apps. The rest of the apps are being circulated on third-party stores.  

According to Lookout, Google’s own security vetting failed to detect the bogus apps, likely because they contained no malicious software processes. “In fact, they hardly do anything at all,” the company added. “They are simply shells to collect money for services that don’t exist.” 

The apps work by offering a virtual dashboard that lets you monitor the cryptocurrency mining rate. The same dashboard shows you how much virtual coin has been generated. However, Lookout examined the computer code in the apps along with the network traffic, and found the coin balance displayed was actually fictitious. 

Lookout image(Credit: Lookout)

“The value displayed is simply a counter slowly incremented in the app. In some of the apps analyzed, we observed this happening only while the app is running in the foreground and is often reset to zero when the mobile device is rebooted or the app restarted,” the company said 

Recommended by Our Editors

To prevent users from learning the mining is a scam, the same apps prevent you from immediately withdrawing your earnings. Instead, you can only withdraw the coin when your mining has reached a minimum balance. Even so, Lookout found withdrawal was never possible; the app would reset the coin balance or display an error message during the cash out process.

Google Play

To swindle even more money, the apps also offered subscription-based services and expensive upgrades to the fake mining that could reach up to $259. 

Lookout produced a separate report with the names of the various scam cryptocurrency mining apps. To stay safe, the company encourages consumers to research the developers behind any cloud-based cryptocurrency mining services and also read user viewers before installing. “Take your time, and if a deal is too good to be true, it probably isn’t real,” Lookout added.

This newsletter may contain advertising, deals, or affiliate links. Subscribing to a newsletter indicates your consent to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. You may unsubscribe from the newsletters at any time.



This news is republished from another source. You can check the original article here

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*