The Scourge of Fake Crypto Apps

fake apps

With life breathed back into crypto markets, scammers are back on the hunt. A fake Trezor wallet app and an app called Coin Wallet App have popped up on Google Play. Both have been found to be malicious.

While you’re here, check out Untethered! Oops, Tether Did It Again!

Fake Trezor App Noticed By The Company

A Reddit user recently identified an app that uses the Trezor name called Trezor Mobile Wallet. Given that Trezor wallets have a number of built-in security features, the fake app is actually unable to do any harm.

However, it links to another fake crypto wallet called Coin Wallet – Bitcoin, Ripple, Ethereum, Tether. That app is able to scam users out of crypto. Trezor have revealed that the fake Trezor app cannot affect Trezor users. It could, however, be used to obtain Trezor customer email addresses, which could then be used in a phishing attempt.

Both apps have since been pulled from Google Play.

Cybersecurity Expert To The Rescue

WeLiveSecurity – the editorial arm of ESET, a cybersecurity firm – says while many fake apps come and go on Google Play, fake wallet apps are particularly malicious as they target a user’s private keys. Once obtained, the user’s funds can be easily stolen.

“… the attackers are directly after the wallets’ private keys and phrases. In practice, this means that the stakes are higher for users of cryptocurrency wallets… in the case of a wallet, it’s the private key that gets compromised, with no one else to save the day.”

The fake Trezor wallet app masks its false credentials quite well, appearing no less legitimate as Trezor’s official Manager app. Once downloaded, however, the app’s appearance changes and reveals itself as Coin Wallet, the fake crypto wallet app. The Coin Wallet app provides users with an address to deposit their crypto. The address obviously belongs to the malicious actors that created the app.

F**k Off, Scammers With Your Fake Apps

Late last year Google booted four scam crypto apps from its Play Store in an ongoing war against malware. The giant has also faced problems with malicious Chrome extensions, stating:

“We’ve recently taken a number of steps toward improved extension security with the launch of out-of-process iframes, the removal of inline installation, and significant advancements in our ability to detect and block malicious extensions using machine learning.”

When crypto enters a bull market, as it may be doing now, the scammers are prone to emerge to feed off the naivety of some in the crypto community, especially new users. This latest finding is yet another warning for people to exercise caution when downloading apps onto their Android devices.