The FBI has issued a warning to consumers regarding the dangers associated with downloading fraudulent cryptocurrency and investment apps, as well as deceptive schemes involving mobile beta-testing apps. These seemingly legitimate apps are actually utilized by cyber criminals to unlawfully obtain personal information and money from unsuspecting victims.


In both cases, attackers reach out to individuals through various platforms, such as dating and networking apps [1], and persuade them to download these malicious apps. To establish credibility [2], the criminals often employ names and logos from reputable financial institutions. Once the apps are downloaded, victims’ personal information is compromised, and their funds are transferred to the cyber criminals [1]. To combat this, the FBI advises caution when downloading apps and recommends solely utilizing legitimate sources [4]. They also provide indicators to help users identify harmful apps and offer suggestions for consumer safety [5], such as reading reviews prior to downloading [5], refraining from sending money to online acquaintances [5], and exercising caution when receiving emails or messages soliciting personal or financial data [5].

Furthermore, there have been reports of North Korean hackers targeting cryptocurrency and blockchain companies [3]. These cyber criminals are increasingly focusing on crypto wallets and Blockchain bridges [3]. In a recent incident, hackers managed to steal $100 million from Harmony’s Blockchain Bridge [3], which has been linked to the North Korean-backed Lazarus group [3]. Users are advised to avoid opening suspicious emails or clicking on links [5], regularly update their software [5], and restrict game permissions while removing unwanted applications [5].


The impact of these fraudulent activities can be severe, resulting in financial loss and compromised personal information. To mitigate these risks, it is crucial for individuals to exercise caution and follow the FBI’s recommendations. Additionally, the targeting of cryptocurrency and blockchain companies by North Korean hackers highlights the need for heightened security measures within the industry. By remaining vigilant and implementing necessary precautions, users can protect themselves from falling victim to these cyber threats. It is essential to report any fraudulent activity to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center to aid in the prevention and prosecution of these crimes.