Bitcoin Warning: Android App Impersonating MetaMask Pulled Out from Google Play Store
Many people today have not yet totally bought bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies – literally – fearing that it’s all part of an elaborate scam.
The good news is that bitcoin is not a scam despite the bad image set upon it by unscrupulous people who are out there to steal other people’s money, online or what have you.
And the bad news is: yes, there are scammers out there who scare away people in investing in digital currency that, in the past weeks, have been the subject of negativity, especially by the so-called bears in the market as well as those who are unhappy with their financial returns.
Malware detected on GPS
Bitcoin hitting the $20,000 mark in 2017 triggered an increase in interest among online criminals in the crypto that they soon devised different methods to make easy money.
Researchers last week have disclosed that Google Play Store has just pulled out an app that runs on the Android OS after it was discovered to be clandestinely stealing bitcoin from unsuspecting users.
This is said to be the first reported case of a malware making its way into the official Android app online shop.
According to the report, the app impersonates a licensed crypto service called MetaMask, and seizes a phone’s clipboard feature when users copy-paste their virtual money address, either sending the account’s private keys back to the hacker or replacing it with an address controlled by the hacker.
Lukas Stefano, a security researcher at Eset, wrote in a statement:
“For security reasons, addresses of online crypto wallets are composed of long strings of characters. Instead of typing them, users tend to copy and paste the addresses using the clipboard. A type of malware, known as a ‘clipper’, takes advantage of this.”
Stefano added that the hacker intercepts the clipboard’s content and replaces it with what he wants to destabilize.
“In the case of a crypto transaction, the affected user might end up with the copied wallet address quietly switched to one belonging to the attacker”, he said.
(Jet Encila is a freelance writer, editor and journalist from the Philippines)
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