Google bans 8 cryptomining apps that tricks users into watching ads

No cryptocurrencies were actually mined after watching ads.

Google has removed these cryptocurrency apps for misleading users into mining BTC and Ethereum by watching ads and/or paying for in-app purchases.

  • BitFunds – Crypto Cloud Mining
  • Bitcoin Miner – Cloud Mining
  • Bitcoin (BTC) – Pool Mining Cloud Wallet
  • Crypto Holic – Bitcoin Cloud Mining
  • Daily Bitcoin Rewards – Cloud Based Mining System
  • Bitcoin 2021
  • MineBit Pro – Crypto Cloud Mining and btc miner
  • Ethereum (ETH) – Pool Mining Cloud

These apps were analyzed by cybersecurity firm Trend Micro. According to their analysis, these apps forced users to watch ads and pay for in-app purchases and then “mine” BTC or ETH after watching these ads or paying for in-app purchases. In reality, this is just an illusion as nothing happens after watching or paying, other than the developers/hackers taking the credit card information you just gave them

The app called Daily Bitcoin Rewards – Cloud Based Mining System prompts its users to upgrade their crypto mining capacity by “buying” their favorite mining machines to earn more coins at a faster rate.

Trend Micro
The MineBit Pro - Crypto Cloud Mining & btc miner application’s Terms of Use and Important Information section
MineBit Pro EULA

One of the listed apps called MineBit Pro stated in their EULA that the app is just a simulation and that users will not receive a payout. Hence if the user didn’t carefully read the EULA then they are going to be deceived into thinking they are indeed mining real BTC instead of treating it like a game/educational tool. This one gets a yellow flag from us since the app may not be meant to mislead users but to educate them about mining, but also since most users don’t read Licence Agreements and that the app’s name clearly states Crypto Cloud Mining and BTC miner, this EULA is probably a ruse so that the devs won’t get in legal trouble. Either way, the intentions can be either innocent or malicious.

These apps are downloaded more than 100,000 times before their removal from the Play Store. If you’re one of the affected users, uninstall these apps now for your security, privacy and safety.

Source: Trend Micro