Cloud Security, Cryptocurrency

Report: Cloud cryptomining scam ongoing on Android environment

July 7, 2021
Researchers from Lookout say more than 93, 400 Android users so far have been the victims of fake cryptomining apps on the Google Play Store, with the scammers having made a combined revenue of at least $350, 000, according to Threatpost.

Lookout’s report details the scammers’ method of luring victims into downloading paid cryptocurrency mining service apps, categorized as “BitScam” and “CloudScam,” which they claim perform cloud mining or rent cloud computing power to mine cryptocurrency, instead of the more common contribution of hardware and electricity to participate.

“They are simply shells set up to attract users caught up in the cryptocurrency craze and collect money for services that don’t exist.” A researcher said.

The scammers also charge extra money for additional services, using Bitcoin or Ethereum cryptocurrencies transferred directly to their wallets or through Google Play’s in-app billing services.

The reporters identified 25 of the apps on Google Play Store and 145 in third-party app stores, for a total of 170 apps, and though the Google Play apps have since been removed, victims continue to be scammed through apps that remain available through side-loading.
Jill Aitoro

SC Media Editor in Chief Jill Aitoro has 20 years of experience editing and reporting on technology, business and policy. She also serves as editorial director at SC Media’s parent company, CyberRisk Alliance. Prior to joining CRA, she worked at Sightline Media as editor of Defense News and executive editor of the Business-to-Government Group. She previously worked at Washington Business Journal and Nextgov, covering federal technology, contracting and policy, as well as CMP Media’s VARBusiness and CRN and Penton Media’s iSeries News.

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