Lookout Uncovers Crypto Mining Scams Targeting Tens of Thousands of Victims Using Hundreds of Android Apps

“These apps were able to fly under the radar because they don’t actually do anything malicious,” said Ioannis Gasparis, a mobile application security researcher at Lookout. “They are simply shells set up to attract users caught up in the cryptocurrency craze and collect money for services that don’t exist. Purchasing goods or services online always requires a certain degree of trust — these scams prove that cryptocurrency is no exception.” The BitScam and CloudScam apps advertise themselves as providing cloud cryptocurrency mining services for a fee. After analyzing the apps, Lookout researchers found that no cloud crypto mining actually takes place. The scammers pocket the money spent on apps and upgrades without ever delivering the promised services. Lookout estimated that the apps stole more than $350,000 from their victims.

While the BitScam and CloudScam cryptomining apps have now been removed from Google Play, there are dozens more available for download on third-party app stores.

BitScam and CloudScam apps both trick people into thinking they are paying for cloud crypto mining services. In addition to the apps themselves costing money, they promote additional services and upgrades that users can purchase within the apps, either by transferring cryptocurrencies to the developers’ wallets or through Google Play. These apps also display fake minimum account balances to entice users to spend more money on the services and upgrades.

To learn more about BitScam and CloudScam, read the Lookout research blog or visit the Lookout Threat Lab.

Additional Resources:

About LookoutLookout is an integrated endpoint-to-cloud security company. Our mission is to secure and empower our digital future in a privacy-focused world where mobility and cloud are essential to all we do for work and play. We enable consumers and employees to protect their data, and to securely stay connected without violating their privacy and trust. Lookout is trusted by millions of consumers, the largest enterprises and government agencies, and partners such as AT&T, Verizon, Vodafone, Microsoft, Google, and Apple. Headquartered in San Francisco, Lookout has offices in Amsterdam, Boston, London, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto and Washington, D.C. To learn more, visit www.lookout.com and follow Lookout on its blog, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

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