The EOS RIO organization, a group of Brazilian EOS developers, has recently warned its social media followers that fraudsters have launched a fake simplEOS wallet app on Google’s Play Store, presumably to get users’ private keys.
The developers’ warning, first spotted by The Next Web, came with a statement that clarifies that while EOS RIO has done what it can to get the app taken down, users should be aware of the risk involved in downloading wallet apps from Google Play.
🚨 SCAM ALERT 🚨— EOS Rio (@eosriobrazil) November 8, 2018
There is a fake SimplEOS app on Google Play! We’ve taken the security measures to take it down! Please help us spread the word to avoid users from being hacked!
The secure way to download your SimplEOS is on https://t.co/aFFX8mwVOU or https://t.co/w8IkxYPF0F pic.twitter.com/lBAanaqBKy
Currently, it’s unclear how many users downloaded the malicious app. It appears to have already been taken down from the Play store, however. For the time being, users are advised to only download apps from developers they trust.
This is not the first time third-party EOS-related apps are used to swindle users. YouTube personalities the Hodgetwins have, earlier this year, lost over $8,000 after downloading a fake wallet from Apple’s App store.
Notably, fake cryptocurrency-related apps seem to be abundant on Google’s Play Store. This month, security researcher Lukas Stefanko found that an app called Easy Rates Converter wasn’t just converting currencies for its users.
Once installed, it reportedly installed malware to monitor users’ devices to then create “fake activity” that overlayed legitimate apps like that of cryptocurrency exchange Binance. It would then record their login credentials to steal their funds.
Earlier this year, a fake MetaMask app found on Google’s Play store managed to swindle users out of $2,700 worth of Ethereum’s ether. The app, found by Stefanko, had at a time a few negative reviews from users who claimed to have been stolen.
Google banned cryptocurrency mining apps from its Play Store back in July, in what is believed to be an attempt to stop developers from putting a strain on users’ phones and their resources. An investigation later on found that some were being able to bypass the ban.
While Google’s Play store seems to be more prone to malicious apps, there have been similar cases on the iOS app store. To remain safe, users should search for official announcements detailing the launch of apps, and pay careful attention to other users’ reviews and other red flags.