Google Play contains many phony mining apps claim to mine unmineable cryptos

27 Oct, 2018
by Fifi Arisandi
Google Play contains many phony mining apps claim to mine unmineable cryptos

Google Playstore contains many phony mining apps that claim to be able to mine “unmineable cryptos”, such as XRP and USDT.

When talking about mining cryptocurrency, many may not understand fully the technical matters behind it. That’s probably why many people are looking for an “easy solution” to gain the “profit” from mining without the needs to have adequate technical skills to do so.

A report by Live Bitcoin News claimed to have found many phony mining apps that are available and ready for download on Google PlayStore.

These apps are said to have been on the platform for a while, with some of them showing quite a big number of downloads. Considering Google’s “strict policy” that have caused the removal of many crypto wallets and mining apps from the platform previously, this is a bit odd. 

These malicious apps have various methods to trick people. Some of them have the capabilities to mine crypto, but don’t provide the “ways” to distribute the mined crypto to the users’ account, which means all the cryptos will go to the app developers, instead of the users.

Some are actually unable to perform the mining activities and merely display advertisements. While this seems like “less threatening”, it actually has a huge potential for even greater problems. These days many online ads are hijacked by cybercriminals who put malicious code on them, which will be “transferred” to the users’ device only with a single click.

Other kinds of phony mining apps claim to be able to mine the cryptocurrencies that are actually unable to be mined, as how it is with Bitcoin and Ethereum. Such apps target people with minimum knowledge who think that all cryptocurrencies can be gained through mining activities, while the fact, some cryptos like XRP, Cardano, and Tether are actually “unmineable”.

Such malicious schemes actually have been reported in a whitepaper published by researchers on ESET who conducted a study on crypto scams in Android around end of 2017. And as cryptocurrency gains more awareness, more people are subject to become the victim of such apps.

While each crypto enthusiast is indeed responsible for their own investment decision, Google as the PlayStore provider may also have the responsibility to ensure the safety of their platform from apps that may potentially harm their users. 

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