The rise of cryptocurrencies makes good business possible … but also falls into the traps set by fraudsters who know how to take advantage of the shortcomings of mobile app stores.
The unfortunate example of Philip Christodoulou, the American owner of bitcoins, should be cautious. After downloading the harmless virtual wallet from Apple’s App Store, he lost 17.1 bitcoins, which is a real fortune: last month it was $ 600,000, and today it is even higher.
Decoration and dangerous use
The victim kept his bitcoins in a hardware “wallet” designed by Treasure, a highly secure item, but required a connection to the computer to negotiate an account and make transactions. Philip Christodoulou wanted to make life easier by linking his Treasure account with the iPhone app of the same name. But this app has nothing to do with Treasure, which was created by fraudsters who used the company name and its graphic code to deceive users.
When the victim gave their cryptocurrency account information, it was too late: the money had gone into the thieves’ pockets. Cristo ou Lou turned to Apple, which explores and verifies the applications distributed in its store. But even the manufacturer can’t do much: the application in question is “disguised” as a password administrator.
After the green light from Apple, fraudsters completely switched the app, which became a cryptocurrency wallet. It took reports from many users for the app to remove the treasure, the proper company and the App Store. Without doing a lot of damage to bitcoin holders. There are many versions of similar apps in the App Store and Play Store, so disbelief is in order.
According to Philip Christodoulou, his case was dropped by the FBI in the hope that he would find the stolen money.
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