Apple is receiving a lot of negative press after an app on the app store was discovered to be fake when it drained $600,000 from a user who downloaded it.
As originally reported by the Washington Post, Phillipe Christodoulou checked the value of his Bitcoin last month on the app he had downloaded from the Apple app store. He was startled to see that his 17.1 bitcoin (then worth $600,000) had disappeared.
He had downloaded the app originally thinking that it was a companion app for Trezor, the cold storage device manufacturer. He claimed that the app was listed under the Trezor brand and that’s why he felt the confidence to download it.
Trezor doesn’t produce apps for its hardware devices so the app turned out to be a fake that was created and uploaded to the Apple Store by scammers.
Christodoulou claimed that the app was listed with five stars for reviews and that this had also supplied him with the trust that ultimately ensnared him and got him to download the fake app.
He says that now he’s actually angrier with Apple than with the scammers. He says that Apple marketed their store as being safe, and that each app was reviewed before it was allowed to be listed.
“They betrayed the trust that I had in them,” he said in an interview. “Apple doesn’t deserve to get away with this.”
The Apple marketing for their app store does appear to bear this out. Slogans such as “the world’s most trusted marketplace for apps” do go a long way towards building consumer confidence.
However, experts say that it’s fairly easy to get around the Apple review system. Nefarious actors can submit apps that seem perfectly legitimate. But once approved, they can be transformed into phishing apps that persuade people to give up their passwords, seed phrases or private keys.
An Apple spokesperson said:
“User trust is at the foundation of why we created the App Store, and we have only deepened that commitment in the years since,” And “Study after study has shown that the App Store is the most secure app marketplace in the world, and we are constantly at work to maintain that standard and to further strengthen the App Store’s protections. In the limited instances when criminals defraud our users, we take swift action against these actors as well as to prevent similar violations in the future.”
Apple does remove apps when it finds that they are operating in a way that harms users, and it also bans the developers behind them. However, for those who have fallen for the scams, it is already too late.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.