Apple removes scam 'Bitcoin Wallet' app after it was used to steal $120k in STX

Leather Wallet & Hirio Bitcoin app
(Image credit: LetalComRu)

Apple has removed a fake ‘Bitcoin Wallet’ app from its App Store after it was used to steal $120,000 in STX from one unlucky user. 

On Tuesday, the company confirmed to iMore that it had removed an app titled Leather Wallet & Hiro Bitcoin, following reports it had been used to scam a crypto investor out of more than $120,000 in STX. Apple also says it has removed the developer responsible from its Apple Developer Program. 

Earlier this week George Burke reported that a theft of 38,000 STX had taken place through the app, asking for help on X in recovering the funds. One commenter noted “We’ve all been posting this for a while,” and that some parties had even reached out to Apple to alert the company. Another said “Leather has been reporting this scam impersonator for weeks and Apple has been unresponsive,” however Apple says the app was live for a little over two weeks, reflected in the version history of the app’s App Store listing. 

Apple’s App Store under fire 

As we noted in our initial report, the app’s listing was inflated with a series of noticeably false reviews published by users with suspicious names. Apple continues to battle the issue of fake reviews being used to boost the credibility of otherwise unreliable or poor-quality apps, and it’s one of the quality control points critics of its App Store highlight when arguing in favor of looser iOS app distribution. 

Apple recently enacted major changes to iOS 17 in the EU to comply with the Digital Markets Act, enabling alternative app marketplaces as a means of distribution. Earlier today, Apple announced further changes to its DMA plan that include allowing some app developers to distribute apps to iPhone directly from the web. Web Distribution is essentially sideloading for iPhone, but will only be available to developers who have two years of continuous good standing with Apple’s Developer Program and an app with over a million downloads in the past calendar year. 

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Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9