Sophos Report Identifies Google Play Store Has 25 Crypto Mining Apps Found to Be Cryptojacking

Google Play Store Has Banned Mining Apps For Two Months, But 25 Apps Were Found To Be Cryptojacking

A recent report from Sopho labs shows that there are presently 25 Android apps in violation of the recent ban that Google issued on their Play Store against “apps that mine cryptocurrency on devices.” This report indicated that that the official apps contain a script that enabled the “cryptojacking” of the computing resources of users. The report indicated that the apps found have already “been downloaded and installed more than 120,000 times.”

All of the cryptojacking apps are directly under LHDS Vendors, a series of apps that are published by:

  • Taste of Life Group
  • Mobeleader from Abser Technologies S.L.
  • Palkar by
  • Dizi Fragmanları İzle from Oguzhan Kivrak
  • Helper for Knight Game from Evgeny Solovyov
  • Game Viet 2048 from Thanhtu Media
  • Trance Droid by Happy Appys
  • A Paintbox For Kids by Uwe Post
  • Afterlife: RPG Clicker CCG by Levius LLC
  • Dominoes Games from Fun Board Games
  • Info Guru Pendidikan by Cakrawala Pengetahuan
  • Lighton by Buyguard
  • Tapbugs and Dreamspell – both published by Riccotz
  • 11 additional apps published by Gadgetium

Every one of these apps are used for students to prepare for standardized testing within the United States. Of the 25 apps, 22 of them were found to have the Coinhive code. Two of the others, Lighton and Mobeleader, were hosting mining scripts from a server of their own. The report said that this was “presumably to thwart firewalls or parental controls/reputation services that might block Coinhive’s domain by default. The final one, A Paintbox for Kids, had Xmrig running, which is “an open source CPU miner that can mine several cryptocurrencies in addition to XMR.”

In the ban on the Google Play Store, they seemed to follow suit of the other platforms of Google, like the Chrome Web Store in April. Across the board, Google banned any advertising of “cryptocurrencies and related content” on their platforms.

Despite these bans through 2018, Google may be loosening the reigns on their ban. A recent announcement said, “The Google ads policy on financial products and services will be updated in October 2018 to allow regulated cryptocurrency exchanges to advertise in the United States and Japan.”

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