Google has updated its Play Store policy which will now bar all mining apps. The latest update follows a similar move made by Apple last month.
“Apps may facilitate transactions or transmissions of cryptocurrency on an approved exchange, provided they are offered by the exchange itself. Cryptocurrency Apps may not offer currency for completing tasks, such as downloading other Apps, encouraging other users to download, posting to social networks, etc.”
Google has followed suit by no longer allowing cryptocurrency miners on the Play Store. Many are currently available on the Store including apps such as MinerGate, Crypt Miner, NeoNeonMiners and countless others. Mining extensions were already prohibited from the store earlier this year. The new policy states:
“We don’t allow apps that mine cryptocurrency on devices. We permit apps that remotely manage the mining of cryptocurrency.”
However, the ban does not take in all software involved with mining virtual cash. Both Google and Apple have said that they would allow users to design apps for managing mining being done elsewhere – such as on cloud computing platforms.
Both the moves by Apple and Google follows some negative apps-related press from a range of sources recently particular regarding crypto mining. Russian cyber security company Kaspersky Lab reported recently of a huge 44.5 per cent spike in crypto jacking over the past year.
Cryptojacking is defined as the secret use of your computing device to mine cryptocurrency. The hacking occurs when the victim unknowingly installs a program on a user’s computer which secretly mines cryptocurrency.
Also another report by Skybox Security that ransomware is fast being taken over by illicit currency mining of this nature, suggesting that miners now represent 32 per cent of all cyber attacks.
Google has not simply targeted cryptocurrency, as its new developer policies have also included “multiple apps with highly similar content and user experience,” targeted at repetitive content, and “apps that are created by an automated tool, wizard service, or based on templates and submitted to Google Play by the operator of that service on behalf of other persons.”
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