Apple has a strongest policy for its digital app stores, and while that net can usually keep tabs on most bad eggs, some slip through.
And then there are the rare instances where not only does a seemingly nefarious app make it through the double- and triple-checks, but it also manages to rise to the top of the category in which it is launched. As reported by TechCrunch recently, that is what has happened with a newly-discovered app called “MyEtherWallet.” The app was released by developer Nam Le, who, up to this point, has only released games like Panda Warrior: Kung Fu Awesomeness and Mr. Beard: Icehole Fishermans, and an Apple Watch app called “Wrist Count.”
The app, which has a name that is directly related to a service called MyEtherWallet (a popular service for storing cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin), is not remotely affiliated with the official service. They tweeted out very early this morning that the app, which peaked at #3 in the Finance section of the iOS App Store –and is currently at #4 at the time of publication– is not their doing, and that they have filed the necessary reports to let Apple know of what is going on:
This is NOT US. We have file reports and emailed and reported. Would appreciate the communities assistance in getting these scamtards out of our lives.
— MyEtherWallet.com (@myetherwallet) December 10, 2017
The fake app costs $4.99, and, according to the tracking service Apptopia, as cited in the original report, it has been downloaded more than 3,000 times since it launched in the iOS App Store a week ago. At the time of publication Apple has not yet commented on the app’s existence, or how it slipped through the review process. And, as mentioned above, it is still currently available to buy in the digital storefront.
The inherently troubling issue here is that an app, which says it will store your ethereum wallet keys securely on your device, appears to be ripping off a real service, one with a distinguishable name and track record. This would mean that those who do use this app could be putting their own cryptocurrency in danger.
Update: Apple has officially pulled the app from the iOS App Store.