Recent news say that a couple of fake cryptocurrency wallets were spotted on Google Play Store, proving that even such a great corporation as Google is not capable of controlling everything.
The number of apps on Google Play is over 2.6 million and that number is constantly getting bigger and bigger. Therefore, it would be insane to ask of them to keep a close look at every single one of them. Still, users have every right to be concerned that a few phone cryptocurrency wallets weren’t spotted by Google. After all, these kinds of app deal with money, so they need to be monitored more closely than, let’s say, games or fitness applications.
So, What Happened?
Cybercriminals developed fake cryptocurrency wallets with the intention of stealing money away from the users. And to bring a large number of users to their wallet, they placed the apps on Google Play. And it stood there for a while, before being discovered by an independent cryptocurrency crusader.
The guy’s name is Lucas Stefanko and he works as an author at a website called WeLiveSecurity, which is focused on the war against malware and all other threats lurking online. This of course, involves the battle against cryptocurrency thieves, as well.
Stefanko discovered four wallets that were claimed to offer solutions for the following Cryptos: MetaMask, Tether, and NEO. The one used as a fake MetaMask wallet was actually based on a phishing scheme. How it worked is that after the user installs, it requests their login credentials to other wallets. This basically means opening doors to your assets to cybercriminals. Stefanko made a screenshot of the stats of this app, which revealed that more than 500 people have already downloaded it.
Unlike the phishing app that mimicked real MetaMask app, the other three applications were fake crypto wallets. Two of them were made to look like they’re dealing with NEO, while there was one focused on those who wanted to get ahold of Tether tokens.
Is This a One-Off Case?
Unfortunately, the scams discovered made by Stefanko are just some of many. In fact, in the last couple of months, there were many reports that suspicious apps were spotted on Google Play. For example, Ethereum World News released a report about a phony wallet for EOS. After they made it public, Google removed the app from the Store.
And cases like these happen all the time. The reason is simple – there are just too many apps out there on Google Play Store so it’s almost impossible for Google to have them all checked. The only solution seems to be informing the users about the potential threats.
And now that you know that even the fact that a wallet is listed on Google Play does not mean that it’s legit. Instead of downloading it right away, our advice is to first take some time to learn more about the app. You can read reviews on Play Store, but our advice is not to stop there. Get as much info as you need because cryptocurrencies are getting more and more sophisticated every day, so it’s not easy to spot a scam anymore.
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