Thousands Scammed with Fake Android Crypto Mining apps

Security researchers at Lookout Threat Labs unearthed over 170 Android apps that purported to support cloud cryptocurrency mining services for a fee, when in fact no mining took place.  The scammers made money by charging fees through legitimate payment processes with no services ever delivered. 

Experts Comments

July 09, 2021
Saryu Nayyar
CEO
Gurucul

Thanks to the run-up in the value of cryptocurrencies over the past several months, there has been a great deal of interest in finding a way to mine or purchase cryptocurrencies without the investment in raw processing power. In a scam reminiscent of the old SETI apps lending individuals’ CPU cycles to help search for extraterrestrial intelligence, these apps have offered, for a fee, to enable mobile devices to mine digital currencies. In reality, while the fee was collected, no mining occurred.

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Thanks to the run-up in the value of cryptocurrencies over the past several months, there has been a great deal of interest in finding a way to mine or purchase cryptocurrencies without the investment in raw processing power. In a scam reminiscent of the old SETI apps lending individuals’ CPU cycles to help search for extraterrestrial intelligence, these apps have offered, for a fee, to enable mobile devices to mine digital currencies. In reality, while the fee was collected, no mining occurred.

Analytics plays a role in detecting and analyzing scams such as this.  By examining the use of device CPU cycles, organizations can determine if the device is being used legitimately.  It’s also possible to look at how those cycles are being used in order to determine if mining or other permissible activity is occurring.

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