Lookout specialists discovered that about 93,000 users were paying for 172 Android cloud cryptocurrency mining apps that didn’t work.
The researchers split the applications into two separate families, Bitam (83,800 installs) and Cloudcam (9,600 installs). 25 fake apps were available on the official Google Play Store, while others were distributed through third-party app stores.
As it turned out, contrary to the advertised functions, the applications simply did not have cloud mining functions. Instead, scammers filled their wallets by selling fakes that did nothing. In total, the criminals “earned” more than $ 350,000 ($ 300,000 from app sales and another $ 50,000 for fake updates) by selling the apps themselves, additional services, and bogus updates to victims around the world.
“These applications have gone unnoticed because, in essence, they are not doing anything harmful. They are just shells created to attract users who are passionate about cryptocurrency and collect money for services that do not exist, ”the company writes.
Although Google engineers have already removed all fake BitOn and Cloud applications from the Google Play Store, Lookout warns that dozens of such fakes are still being circulated through third-party app stores.