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Fake wallet app hits Google Play to steal from Ethereum holders

Security researchers are sounding the alarm on fake Android apps found on Google Play that will steal Ethereum cryptocurrency.

Published onJanuary 25, 2018

  • A fake MyEtherWallet app has been spotted in the Google Play Store.
  • The app makes users type in their private key after the app is installed.
  • There’s no word yet on if Google will try to remove this app, and similar ones, from the Play Store.

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few months, you know that a number of cryptocurrencies have exploded recently in terms of their value. One of them is Ethereum, and as you might expect, there are people who want to steal this suddenly valuable resource from legitimate holders.

This week, it appears that unknown cybercriminals have succeeded in uploading a fake MyEtherWallet Android app to the Google Play Store. The fake made its first appearance last week, and malware researcher Lukas Stefanko has posted an alert about this malicious app on his Twitter account (via TheNextWeb). He points out that there is no “official” MyEtherWallet app available on the Play Store, and that this fake version requires Ethereum users to type in their private key or mnemonic phrase.

The app itself looks pretty poorly designed, based on the published screenshots, which is usually a big clue that this app is not what it appears to be. Its likely that similar apps that ask for private cryptocurrency keys will pop up on the Play Store as well, as scammers attempt to steal them from their rightful owners. There’s no word yet on if Google will remove this fake MyEtherWallet app from the store. In the meantime, cryptocurrency owners of any type should be aware these kinds of scams are actively seeking victims, and to protect their private keys at all times.

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