In a big crackdown, Google recently banned crypto Bitcoin Miner — Cloud Mining app from Play Store. Any such ban can have a huge impact as Google Play Store is the main source of earnings for many application makers for Android devices. Smaller stores from Amazon, Samsung and Huawei provide alternative sources earnings.
However, such action by Google happens when it suspects wrongdoing. Unfortunately, one problem that affects all app stores is the existence of malware, which can cause harm to users’ devices including loss of data and privacy. With over three billion active Android devices, the potential for damage is quite high and many apps manage to slip under the radar, get into Google Play Store from where it gets downloaded by innocent people on their smartphones.
One of these apps that were banned by Google from the Play Store that managed to convince users it was a cryptocurrency miner app was called Bitcoin Miner — Cloud Mining. However, as security firm Trend Micro (which identified the threats) notes, the app would pretend to mine cryptocurrency and convince users that they should pay more for better mining services.
Reason for Google ban on Bitcoin Miner — Cloud Mining app
According to the report by Trend Micro, the Bitcoin Miner — Cloud Mining app would pretend to be a cryptocurrency mining app. But instead of actually mining cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, it would instead trick users into watching an ad or even charging a fee of around US$15 (RM62) as a “subscription fee” to better their mining capabilities. However, users would get nothing in return for their money, which is why the security firm reported the apps to Google, after which they were deleted from the Play Store.
How to check if Bitcoin Miner — Cloud Mining is installed on your phone
The Bitcoin Miner — Cloud Mining app had been downloaded by a many before it was removed by Google. They believed it was a profitable move, without realising that they were actually putting their own money at risk.
The removal process from users’ smartphone is simple. Users must check their system to see if there is an app with the package name “cryptominer.bitcoinminer” installed on their system. Once identified, users can uninstall the app from their device.
How users can stay safe from fake cryptocurrency apps on the Play Store
Unlike traditional malware that can be detected by Google Play Protect, these apps are designed to trick people into paying for premium services and watching ads, which makes them harder to detect. They were also available on the Play Store, so the usual advice that Android users should avoid third party apps does not apply as well.
However, users can still remain vigilant while downloading apps and check the reviews before downloading the app, in order to remain safe from these apps on their Android devices. – Hindustan Times, New Delhi/Tribune News Service