$ 400 for a logo … Woops
For years, the cryptocurrency industry has been full of creativity unleashed by a series of individuals. While this innovation has led to unique projects, products and services, creative and almost ingenious crimes related to cryptography have become a common vision almost daily for many consumers.
Lucas Stefanko, a European researcher on cybersecurity, Recently drew the attention on a new Ethereum-centric scam on the Google Play Android store that was unique in its kind. According to Stefanko, the scam was just an app, which costs € 335 (~ $ 390), which looks like "Ethereum".
– Lukas Stefanko (@LukasStefanko) 21 August 2018
As the picture suggests, the app claims to sell "only an Ethereum "for 335 euros, or about $ 100 on the current value of a single ETH token. While the exorbitant price would somehow be a scam by itself if that app actually provided users with an ETH, it turns out that users who bought the "Ethereum" app did not get anything but the classic logo Ethereum, with all its crisp vectors, minimalist features and a dark aesthetic.
What is even stranger is that in the app for over a year, he has collected over 100 installations from unsuspecting users, accumulating at least $ 39,000 in the process.
Perhaps some users were fooled by the 22 reviews (probably fraudulent), which gave the app an average rating of four out of five stars, or from the apparent company behind the app – "Google Commerce LTD. " Obviously enough, it is not Google or a subsidiary affiliate that offers this app, as the company would not be captured without having taken part in that program. However, The Next Web reports have speculated that, including Google Commerce, they may have helped app developers get the scammer app listed in the Play Store. Even though Google has touted its secure system, it would be logical that even some small things outweighed Google's Sauron eye.
Although it is not clear who is hiding behind the app, or who bought it, the app has since been removed from the Play Store, probably in direct correlation with the security researcher's tweet.
Google Play Store remains a battlefield for Crypto apps
In related news, it has recently been revealed that Google's attempts to block encrypted mining apps have been rather unsuccessful. As reported by Ethereum World News, Google has attempted to limit the apps that undermine the cryptocurrencies at the end of July. Almost a month after the company's announcement, the new and old mining applications were still present in the Play Store.
An app included JSECoin, which allowed users to remotely manage desktop mining operations while providing users with a method for extracting cryptocurrencies using a mobile device. Although this app was totally compliant with the rules before the apparent ban, JSECoin somehow slipped under the Google surveillance radar after the crackdown occurred. Whereas since then the technological giant has reacted, repressing the app and noticing that it will give the existing mining applications a grace period of thirty days, others are not convinced that the company's efforts are justified. Nonetheless, Google has started to show fleeting signs that it could start accepting blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
Photo of Jack Sharp on Unsplash