Warn Bitcoin users about fake iOS and Android apps
Security experts are warning Bitcoin merchants and internet banking app users about “hundreds” of fake Android and iOS apps that could seriously keep them out of their pocket. The threat was revealed by Sophos investigators who, after a tip, discovered a server full of fake cryptocurrency, stock trading and banking apps. Among the bogus apps discovered were bogus programs imitating those of Binance, Barclays, Kraken, and Bittrex – among many others.
Each of these fake apps had a dedicated website to try and make the imitated app look legitimate and trick people into downloading the fake programs.
Sophos was warned about the Android and iOS scams after being contacted by one victim.
The victim revealed that scammers had befriended them through social media and dating sites before shifting communication to a messaging app.
After postponing the in-person meeting, allegedly due to the coronavirus pandemic, and gaining a target’s trust, they try to convince them to download one of the fake apps and send the victim a link to it. to download.
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In this victim’s case, the fake app was for a Hong Kong-based trading and investment company called Goldenway Group – with download links for iOS or Android.
Scammers then walked the victim through the installation process, encouraging them to buy cryptocurrency and transfer it to their wallets.
When the victim later asked for the virtual currency to be refunded, the scammer apologized before blocking the victim’s account.
But this one app was just the tip of the iceberg. Sophos continued, “When we examined the rogue Goldenway app, we found that the plan was much broader. We found that hundreds of fake trading apps were pushed through the same infrastructure, each disguised to look like the official trading apps of different financial organizations. . “
Sophos went on to explain that some of the bogus apps they examined were designed to have a user interface that looked exactly like their legitimate counterparts.
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So these fake apps all had options for trading updates, wallets, funds, and cryptocurrency deposits.
The only difference was that every transaction went straight into the crooks’ pockets.
Sophos advises people on how to stay safe: “Innocent people tend to trust things presented by someone they think they know. And since these fake applications are masquerading as well-known apps from around the world, the fraud is that more If something seems too good to be true – promised high returns on investments or professional looking dating profiles asking to transfer money or cryptocurrency – it’s probably a scam.
“In order not to fall prey to such malicious apps, users should only install apps from trusted sources such as Google Play and Apple’s App Store. Developers of popular apps often have a website that directs users to the real app. whether the app was developed by the real developer. We also recommend that users install an antivirus app on their mobile device, such as Sophos Intercept X for Mobile, which protects their device and data from such threats. “
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