Scammers Use Fake Ledger App on Microsoft Store to Steal $800,000 in Crypto

After a surge of malware on the Google Play Store, is Microsoft also failing to properly vet apps for malware?

The fake Ledger Live app on the Microsoft Store deceived users into downloading malware, which stole their Bitcoin and Ethereum funds.

Hackread.com has been actively following the cryptocurrency space as it has lately been a prominent target of scams and cyberattacks. Hackers are eyeing the crypto industry to steal valuable assets and even NFTs.

For this purpose, crooks devise clever tactics to lure unsuspecting users into giving away their funds and tokens. One such scam was recently reported by a pseudonymous on-chain detective and crypto sleuth, ZachXBT

According to ZachXBT, a fake Ledger app was circulating on the Microsoft App Store. This fraudulent app masqueraded as the official Ledger Live app and tricked users into unwittingly downloading and installing malware stealing victims’ crypto funds and data.

Fake Ledger app on Microsoft Store (Screenshot: ZachXBT)

ZachXBT’s analysis stressed the sophisticated nature of this scam, emphasizing the critical need for end-users to stay alert in protecting their cryptocurrency wallets. As of November 4th, scammers successfully collected roughly $588,000 in Bitcoin by hijacking users’ crypto wallets.

In a tweet, ZachXBT cautioned crypto users and investors with the following warning: “Community Alert: There is currently a fake @Ledger Live app on the official @Microsoft App Store which was resulted in 16.8+ BTC ($588K) stolen.”

However, on November 5th, ZachXBT received updated information from a victim, indicating a loss of $180,000 worth of ETH due to the fake Ledger app. This significantly increased the total lost payments to over $768,000.

Stolen funds (Screenshot: Hackread.com)

It is worth noting that in November 2023, a fake Ledger Live app was uploaded to the official Microsoft App Store that looked exactly like the original Ledger Live app. For your information, it is a popular software wallet designed to help users manage their crypto assets.

However, those who downloaded the fake version of this app ended up installing malware capable of stealing cryptocurrency by intercepting users’ recovery phrases. The attackers specifically targeted users who store their cryptocurrency in the Ledger hardware wallets to profit by stealing their assets.

The attackers designed the fake app quite cunningly, replicating the look and features of the authentic app, including identical logos and branding materials. They went as far as creating a fraudulent Ledger device pin verification process. This tricky similarity between the original and fake apps makes it challenging for users to differentiate between them.

Nevertheless, Microsoft promptly detected and removed the fake Ledge Live app from their store. The company is investigating how the fake Ledger app bypassed its app review process, however, the damage to users is already done.

Remember that apps like Ledger, Trezor, or another hardware wallet will never ask users to enter their recovery phrases into their computers or phones. You should always enter the phrase in the hardware wallet to recover it.

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