Bitcoin users need to be well aware of the software they download onto their computers at all times, as it would not be the first time certain file types were infected with malware or ransomware. But at the same time, it also matters where the Bitcoin wallet itself is downloaded from. Always use the official websites to do so, and never click a link posted on social media or embedded in a forum post. Although altcoins have been suffering from fake wallet download links most of the time, it is not unthinkable this could happen to Bitcoin as well.
Also read: Bitcoin Scam Education – Phishing Sites
Beware of Fake Bitcoin Wallet Downloads
Even though most digital currency users know they should only download a Bitcoin wallet from the official website – or the app store of their respective mobile operating system – novice users might be tempted to click on the first link they see. Bitcoin has become a high-profile target for internet criminals as of late, and what better way to earn Bitcoin by tricking users into downloading an infected wallet and stealing their balance afterwards?
It would not be the first time internet criminals attempt a phishing attack against bitcoin users. Back in April of 2014, a cloned version of the Electrum download page was taken down. Phishing sites look like the real site, but they are hosted somewhere else and redirecting to a different link. Files downloaded from these platforms are- in most cases – harmful, and could end up costing the user their entire Bitcoin balance.
But it is not just computer users who need to pay close attention, as mobile applications prove to be an even bigger risk. Just a few months ago, there was a fake LocalBitcoins trading app circulating on the Google Play Store, which was designed to steal users’ bitcoins. Although it remains unclear as to whether or not any coins were taken in the end, the application was quickly removed from the Android app store.
When downloading a Bitcoin wallet, always use the official channels to do so. The main Bitcoin websites – both the .org and .com – contain valid links to various software solutions. Although there is always a chance either platform might be compromised at some point, they should always be the first place to look for a Bitcoin wallet.