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Don't expect Apple to follow others into the metaverse. According to the latest newsletter from Bloomberg 's Mark Gurman, Apple has rejected the idea of a metaverse in this case, an all-virtual world for its long-rumored mixed reality headset. The very idea is "off limits," Gurman's sources claimed. The focus would be on short stints of communication, content viewing and gaming.



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Recently, we were tipped off to a fraudulent mobile trading application that masqueraded as one tied to a well-known Asia-based trading company. As we investigated, we uncovered several other counterfeit versions of popular cryptocurrency trading, stock trading and banking apps on iOS and Android, all designed to steal from those fooled into using them. These fraudulent applications are aimed at exploiting the increased interest in trading apps, driven by the recent significant rise in the value of cryptocurrencies and interest in low-cost or free stock trading driven by stories like that of the recent social-media driven speculation in GameStop stock.

In some cases, the schemes to distribute these applications leveraged social engineering through dating sites to lure in victims, and websites designed to look like those belonging to legitimate companies. During investigation of one of the apps, we encountered a server which was hosting hundreds of fake trading, banking, foreign exchange, and cryptocurrency apps. Each of these fake apps had a dedicated website tailored to the impersonated brand to better fool potential victims.

Our research began when we were asked to investigate an application by a user who fell victim to a scam. According to the victim, the initial contact with the actors behind the app came through a social media and dating site. The scammers befriended the victim, and shifted communications to a messaging app. They avoid requests for face-to-face meetings, citing the Covid pandemic. After gaining trust, they then convinced the victim to download a cryptocurrency trading app, sending the victim a link.

The link was to a page impersonating a Hong Kong based trading and investment company called Goldenway Group. The page had options to download both iOS and Android apps. The scammers then walked the victim through the installation and encouraged the victim to buy cryptocurrency and transfer into their wallet. Goldenway is aware of these sorts of scams.

As we investigated the fraudulent Goldenway app, we discovered that the scheme was much more wide-ranging. We found hundreds of fake trading apps being pushed through the same infrastructure, each disguised to look like the official trading apps of different financial organizations. Some of these services, such as Dandelion pgyer[. But some of these services are easily abused by malicious app developers. Tutorials for this process—the exact one used by these fake applications—are available on the Dandelion site and others, including full demonstration video.

While many of these Super Signature developer services may be targeted at helping legitimate small app developers, we found in our investigation that the malware used many such third-party commercial app distribution services. They advertise themselves as an alternative to the iOS App Store, handling app distribution and registration of devices.

Making this all work requires significant social engineering of the victim. If the user chooses from the website for the fake app to install the app on an iOS device. If the targeted user decides to download the iOS app, the click takes them to a web page that mimics the iOS app store and attempts to download mobile device management configuration file.

The page even has fake reviews to help convince the target that the application is legitimate. A tap on the icon on the home screen takes the user directly to the URL associated with the web application. These web clips pointed to web versions of the fake apps, with interfaces similar to those seen in the iOS applications. The Android apps we found used a slightly different approach to making web apps look like native ones. The URL and some of the other important strings in the Android apps are encoded using an opensource project called StringFrog, which uses a combination of base64 and xor with a hardcoded key.

If the user completes the process of installing and launching the app, the user is asked to create an account—and in some cases, the app request an invitation code, possibly to restrict app access to those who were intentionally targeted.

Some of the fake trading apps we looked at had an interface with trading updates, wallets, fund and cryptocurrency deposit and withdrawal features that appeared to function just like their legitimate counterparts. The main difference, however, was that any transaction went into the pockets of the crooks instead. A translated transfer receipt from the fake app. These apps also had a customer support team. We tried communicating with the support teams using the chat embedded in the various fake apps; all of them resulted in similar replies indicating the possibility of same actor or actors behind all of them.

When asked to deposit money, we were given details of the recipient bank accounts based in Hong Kong. This looked like an individual account to which money was to be transferred using wire transfer. The bank details were different at various times, though all were based in Hong Kong. One of the servers referenced in the app had an open directory, from which we were able to collect a significant amount of uploaded data.

We believe the ID details could have been used to legitimize financial transactions and receipts by the crooks as a confirmation about the deposits from the victims.

We also found several profile pictures of attractive people likely used for creating fake dating profiles, which suggests that dating could have been used as a bait to lure victims. Innocent people tend to put trust in things that are presented by someone they think they know. And since these fake applications impersonate well-known apps from all over the world, the fraud is that more believable.

Developers of popular apps often have a web site, which directs the users to the genuine app. Users should verify if the app was developed by its genuine developer. We also advise users to consider installing an antivirus app on their mobile device, such as Sophos Intercept X for Mobile, which defend their device and data from such threats. The distribution scheme used in these fraud campaigns poses a larger threat.

This threat could and should be mitigated by Apple, which could stop abuse of third-party app distribution by alerting users when Super Signature distribution is used to install apps, or when such ad-hoc distributed apps are in use on the device.

Jagadeesh Chandraiah is a nine-year veteran of SophosLabs, specializing in Windows and mobile malware analysis. Outside of work, Jagadeesh enjoys playing badminton. I am a threat researcher at SophosLabs in Sydney, where I reverse engineer and uncover Android threats on a daily basis. During my free time, I like to explore wilderness and go on nature walks around Sydney. Xinran has 11 years of experience analyzing and reversing malware of various platforms such as Windows, Android and macOS.

Thank you, I wish these were more highly publicized. I encountered the same scam with similar screenshots to the ones posted in this article but for a fake fxtm app. I can take a look. Hi, I wished I had come across your article sooner because I fell victim to the same kind of scam described in the article.

Could you please tell me if there is anything that can be done to help. I believe I am also a victim of this scam described here on this article as well. I was told to buy crytpcurrency from a wallet app BRD on google playstore and then to use their cryptocurrency platform app that I had to install on on their website called hxexfor. I was wondering if you guys are able to verify this app if it is a scam app.

Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Skip to content. Gathering victims Our research began when we were asked to investigate an application by a user who fell victim to a scam.

A counterfeit website posing as one for Kraken Digital Asset Exchange, one of the largest and oldest cryptocurrency trading sites. The download page for the fake Kraken trading app. Faking it If the user completes the process of installing and launching the app, the user is asked to create an account—and in some cases, the app request an invitation code, possibly to restrict app access to those who were intentionally targeted.

The fake Kraken app. People in Asia targeted One of the servers referenced in the app had an open directory, from which we were able to collect a significant amount of uploaded data. A translated and redacted receipt recovered from files on the open directory of the fake app server.

Conclusion Innocent people tend to put trust in things that are presented by someone they think they know. About the Author. Read Similar Articles January 12, June 18, April 08, What GitHub page? Jagadeesh Chandraiah 08 July at am. It was updated the next day, it should be active for you Reply. TT 22 June at pm. Jagadeesh Chandraiah 16 July at am. Nick 14 August at am.

Jagadeesh Chandraiah 21 September at am. Marc 03 December at pm. Thanks for the information guys. EC 01 September at am. Ching 29 November at am. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published.

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क्यों खरीदें ऐप्पल की 'स्मार्ट' घड़ी?

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Stream real-time trades for US stocks, forex and crypto. services include Apple Store, Genius Bar, AppleCare, Apple Pay, Apple Pay Cash, and Apple Card.

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Lawsuits are weighing heavily on the Bitcoin ecosystem , and former Twitter chief Jack Dorsey thinks he can help fend them off. Coindesk reports Dorsey, Chaincode's Alex Morcos and academic Martin White have proposed a nonprofit legal defense fund for Bitcoin developers to protect them against lawsuits and similar "legal pressure. The fund will initially take over coordination for the defense against the Tulip Trading lawsuit targeting developers over alleged breaches of fiduciary duty relating to the long-dead Mt. Gox Bitcoin exchange. Dorsey didn't say how much money the fund had to start, but noted it wasn't looking for additional money "at this time. Dorsey has direct incentives to establish a legal defense fund, of course. His company Block is heavily involved in Bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies and the blockchain, and the flurry of lawsuits could tarnish his business as much as anyone else's. However, Dorsey noted that many Bitcoin developers are independents that have little choice but to give up when facing lawsuits they don't have the resources to fight. The nonprofit might prove vital if it strengthens the Bitcoin community as a whole, whether or not Dorsey directly benefits from its actions. Sign up.


Watch this Bitcoin Fanatic Shoot His iPhone After Apple Blacklists Blockchain

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Search markets. News The word News. My Watchlist My Watchlist. Apple has been riding on strong demand for 5G-enabled iPhone 12 despite supply-chain constraints. A revamped iPad and Mac line-up of devices, healthcare-focused Apple Watch, and an expanding App Store ecosystem along with continued momentum in the Services business have been major growth drivers.

Read More. Please change the wallet network.

These are the core obsessions that drive our newsroom—defining topics of seismic importance to the global economy. Our emails are made to shine in your inbox, with something fresh every morning, afternoon, and weekend. Although Apple Card carries no annual fees or transaction fees, it does contain some fine print. Since at least February , all four have barred customers from using their credit cards to buy digital currency on Coinbase, a popular cryptocurrency exchange. Wells Fargo has also banned credit card purchases of crypto since June Gemini, another popular crypto trading platform, only allows customers to fund their accounts through bank transfers, wire transfers, or deposits of cryptocurrencies. They also suggest how consumers should perceive cryptocurrencies: as a medium of exchange.

The iPhone is dead to me. Apps freeze for 5—10 seconds whenever launched or switched to. On top of all of this, it was recently discovered that Apple is intentionally degrading the user experience based on your battery quality. The video app is busted.


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  1. Driscoll

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