At least 93,000 people have bought fake Android applications for cryptocurrency mining. 172 commercial Android apps, tracked by Lookout researchers as two separate families of apps called BitScam (83,800 installs) and CloudScam (9,600 installs), were advertised by cybercriminals as cloud mining services.
Twenty-five of these fake apps were available in the Google Play app store, while other apps were downloaded by victims from independent app stores.
Lookout researchers discovered in a report published yesterday that the applications do not have any functionality related to cryptocurrency mining in the cloud.
Scammers made money by selling fake apps without actually providing any advertised service. They earned more than $ 350,000 by selling fake Android apps and another $ 50,000 by selling fake upgrades to thousands of victims around the world who bought apps and paid for non-existent additional services and upgrades.
“These apps could have gone under the radar because they’re not actually doing anything wrong,” said Lookout mobile app security researcher Ioannis Gasparis, adding that fraudsters used the craze for cryptocurrencies to sell non-existent services.
Victims are lured to spend even more money on apps by promising additional services and upgrading apps, which can be purchased by transferring cryptocurrencies directly to the crypto wallets of scammers or through the Play Store.
“Both CloudScam and BitScam offer crypto-mining-related subscriptions and services that users can pay for through the in-app Google Play payment system,” Gasparis explained. “What makes BitScam different is that these apps also accept Bitcoin and Ethereum as payment options.”
Although Google has already removed all fake apps from the Play Store, Lookout says dozens of them are still sold in independent app stores.
A list of all BitScam and CloudScam applications, device compromise indicators and other technical details can be found in report Lookouta.
Source: Informacija.rs by www.informacija.rs.
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