Google’s Play store is facing a flood of fake cryptocurrency apps…
Arming yourself with information is the only way to succeed, whether that’s in crypto investing or life in general. So when you see something that doesn’t add up, you can swipe right and move on with your day.
Infecting the Google Play Store right now are a slew of fake crypto mining apps.
This a scam first uncovered by Lukas Stefanko in February 2018, but new samples found by cybersecurity researchers at Fortinet Labs are flooding the online app store.
If you’ve got an Android device, like Google’s Pixel 3, a Samsung tablet or even a Chromebook, you’ll likely stumble across this kind of fraud eventually.
On the list are apps promising to mine Cardano (ADA), Tether (USDT) and Ripple (XRP).
These apps are most easily spotted by the claim that they will beaver away on your phone or laptop in the background to earn you crypto millions while you sleep.
There are two main problems here. Not only is the processing power required to mine Bitcoin and Ethereum so vast that professional miners use entire warehouses of fast computers with military-grade ASIC chips, but these apps also promise to mine cryptocurrencies that can’t actually be mined at all.
They do make a passable effort at disguising their true intent.
But when you check the code produced, the “mining speed” is a randomly generated number.
A “new thread” is created and the digits before and after the comma are similarly random. No mining is happening. One of the possible menu choices is ‘Withdraw’, but when a crypto wallet address is entered, the app will spit out an error message that your address is incorrect.
In reality, all these apps do is trick the unwary into downloading adware and in some cases inject worms and leak your data to unknown sources.
The data on your phone is extremely valuable. Full names, contact details, social media logins, photos, banking apps, crypto wallets, all are up for grabs if you unlock the front door and allow scammy apps free reign.
If you don’t have a healthy scepticism about Google Play Store, keeping your phone malware free is a near-impossible task.