Bitcoin is once again in the news everywhere, and mostly for all the right reasons, peaking all time valuation height and creating immense wealth for its investors. However, where there’s money to be made, there're also scammers waiting in cyberspace to steal funds whenever and however they can!
his latest phishing scam involves a highly sophisticated replica of a popular Apple iPhone app, a malicious application from Apple’s App Store that deceived an investor and consequently stealing 17 BTC.
During the height of the 2017 bitcoin market frenzy, Coinbase wallet app had been topping the Apple App Store for iOS devices for days on end. Investors were crowding to the platform as Bitcoin fever took over.
Nowadays, of course there’s much more variety among wallet apps out there, including more ways to buy or store cryptocurrencies beyond just Coinbase alone. Nevertheless, the platform remains the most popular out there, set to go public very soon.
Investors can also store their coins in third-party wallets, or use an app interface to interact with their hardware wallets, like Ledger or Trezor. And that’s exactly what a bitcoin investor Phillipe Christodoulou was hoping to do, but instead lost a staggering 17.1 BTC – worth over a half a million dollars – in a phishing scam.
As he downloaded a highly rated, five-star app from App Store, an Apple secured and quality-controlled platform. The app looked identical to the official Trezor app, complete with the company’s logo and branding. Apple claims that it regularly takes certain steps, and works to prevent situations like this from happening. But Scammers seem to regularly pull this tactic with Apple’s App Store, and unfortunately, this application somehow evaded security audits and app scrutiny.
So after loading it with his life-savings, it wasn’t until quite later that he had realized what had happened. The app was a phishing app, and now his 17.1 BTC are in the hands of a scammer. Now, Christodoulou is furious with the company and rightfully so. He is also demanding answers and justice.
Scams like this are unfortunately common wherever users unsuspecting of fraud risks inadvertently end up offering a back door to their prized crypto assets. Thus it’s important to always keep legitimate apps or wallets fully up to date, to avoid any loopholes or security vulnerabilities that have patched, but must be installed through user intervention.
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