[Crypto User Warning] Wasabi Users to Watch Out for a Fraudulent Clone of the Wallet
A fake clone of popular Bitcoin (BTC) wallet, Wasabi, has surfaced online with an accompanying sham replica of the original’s website. The news of this scam was brought to fore by nopara73, a co-founder of Wasabi.
His tweet disclosing this development read, “The first malware that pretends to be Wasabi […]. Notice only the Windows download link points to their own website, the rest is to our GitHub?”
As revealed, the clone includes a page where prospective users are expected to download Wasabi with four different options for operating systems including Mac, Windows and two which are Linux based.
The Mac and both Linux operating systems all link to the original Wasabi wallet which is hosted by Github as revealed. The Windows button however, does not link to the original Wasabi wallet and when clicked, immediately downloads a distrustful file from the fake website to the user’s device.
A few minutes after nopara73 posted the tweet announcing the fake wallet, he posted a screenshot which proved that he had scanned the downloaded file with an antivirus but no problems were detected. The screenshot accompanied a tweet that said:
“Oh boy, this is going to be messy.”
Wasabi is one of the many Bitcoin wallets available today. It’s an open-source platform and is aimed at providing highly secure storage for their crypto.
The Wasabi wallet is also gaining growing popularity in many countries. For example, sometime in late 2018, the wallet was named as one of the most used for Iranian cryptocurrencies even though the use of crypto in the Western Asian country is very heavily restricted.
According to the Iranian Central Bank: “Using global cryptocurrencies as methods of payment inside the country is prohibited.”
Regardless of restrictions like this, a board member of the Iran Association of Blockchain, Soheil Nikzad, has disclosed that the country already sees daily Bitcoin transactions worth about $10 million. A lot of it, might be stored on Wasabi wallets.
Further Reaction by Nopara73 on the Fake Wallet
Nopara73 has expressed that even though investigation on the clone is currently still incomplete, he has definitively stated that it’s a scam. According to him:
“It may not be a virus yet, they may just be building up their userbase. It may be a virus, but they’re doing a selective scam. The Linux and OSX users would vouch for the site, because their software is the original one, so that’d create confusion in forums where they spread the link.”
Speaking on the possible reason why the impostors decided to use just the Windows and not others, he submitted that they probably realised that it was too demanding, creating the same platform for other operating systems.
Furthermore, Nopara73 explained that he hopes that the windows operating system might stifle their plan because the scammers are missing the signing key. He said:
“Now unfortunately for them, they don’t have the signing key I’m using to sign the binary on Windows, so when you’ll try to install their software, Microsoft will complain: ‘Hey, this software has an unknown publisher.’ I wonder if this jeopardizes their efforts.”