Researchers from the British security company Sophos have discovered Hundreds of fraudulent applications that take the appearance of the official app of banks or Bitcoin exchange services and other cryptocurrencies to trick users and steal their money.
Sophos indicates that among the applications found were some that sought to impersonate trusted brands such as Binance, Barclays, Gemini, Kraken and TDBank. In addition, each rogue app had individual websites that sought to impersonate the real organizations.
The finding comes amid growing interest in new digital investment opportunities. Today more than ever, many people are willing to manage their money through mobile applications. This trend is becoming the perfect avenue for cybercriminal deception.
How do fraudulent Bitcoin and banking apps work?
The Sophos investigation began with a specific case. It was a malicious application posing as the Goldenway Group company. The victim was tricked through social media and a dating app.
In these types of scams, cybercriminals do not use the methods known as phishing or emails to attack Bitcoin holders and bank accounts. His techniques consist of gaining the trust of the victim by pretending a friendship or a relationship and then offering guaranteed investment opportunities.
When it comes to fraud on victims who have Android operating system, cybercriminals ask you to install an app and start operating. The design of the application appears to be real and, according to Sophos, it even includes data on the price of some cryptocurrencies.
In the case of iOS, the process is somewhat different. Since in the Apple operating system it is impossible to install applications outside the App Store, scammers adopted using “Web Clips”, which is basically an icon on the iPhone home screen with a shortcut to the fraudulent website.
Fraudulent applications or pages also had an option to deposit and withdraw funds, cryptocurrency wallets such as Bitcoin. However, the main – and alarming – difference from real apps is that the assets went into the pockets of criminals.