Apple is Considering Removal of Ethereum Browser MetaMask From its App Store

Apple is considering the removal of Ethereum-based decentralized app (DApp) browser MetaMask, a crypto wallet application of Coinbase, from its …
Ethereum NewsDecember 30, 2019 by Kelly Cromley
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Apple is considering the removal of Ethereum-based decentralized app (DApp) browser MetaMask, a crypto wallet application of Coinbase, from its app store. The notification follows similar decision by Google.

As per a Reddit post made on December 28, the US based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase threatened its users that with the intention of complying with Apple’s mobile App Store guideline, it may consider removing the DApp browser characteristics from its wallet app.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong expressed his disappointment over the removal of the app from the Apple store:

“Coinbase CEO here. This is really unfortunate to see. Apple seems to be eliminating usage of Dapps from the App Store. […] Presumably this would extend to other wallets as well (Trust, Argent, Metamask) it’s beyond Coinbase and IMO a very big threat to the ecosystem.”

Coinbase is removing decentralized application interaction from their mobile wallet, due to pressure from Apple.

Web3 is in direct competition with Google & Apple. We should expect continued censorship on MetaMask, Coinbase, & other dapp browsers.

Disruption ain’t easy. pic.twitter.com/FLweZrq7m9

— Omar Bham (Crypt0) (@crypt0snews) December 28, 2019

Armstrong also pointed out that users who wish to use DApps on Apple’s mobile gadgets may have to avail permission from the company to permit and run such apps. He further stated:

“This is an important area of innovation in finance, and many developers and early adopters of this technology have millions of dollars’ worth of crypto tied up in these financial applications, which they will no longer be able to use on Apple mobile devices if this app store policy continues.”

As stated earlier, the development has happened soon after Google prohibited Ethereum wallet and DApp browser MetaMask from Google Play, the platform facilitating distribution of Android application.

The venture’s team pointed out that the motive for the app elimination is the guideline against mining through mobiles. Notably, the software being the subject of discussion did not support mobile mining.

Appeal made by MetaMask to reconsider the decision was also brushed away. Through a tweet, the firm stated as follows:

“The appeal rejection cited the same policy: No mining on @Android. We don’t.”

Omar Bham, one of the cryptocurrency influencers, proposed that the decision was made to safeguard the firm’s operations against likely decentralized contestants.

In a tweet dated December 28, Bham stated:

“Web3 is in direct competition with Google & Apple. We should expect continued censorship on MetaMask, Coinbase, & other dapp browsers.”

On December 23, cryptocurrency influencers pointed out that YouTube, video streaming site of Google, started removing crypto related content from the platform.

After prominent crypto enthusiasts in the domain started discussing about the issue, the platform clarified that it was done by mistake and started restoring content, but majority of crypto related content providers say that their video is yet to be reinstated.

Two days later, YouTube restored another portion of the removed content and clarified that there was error in review procedures.

A crypto influencer affirmed that his channel has received warning, while the content of several YouTuber’s have been terminated. Notably, several content creators have shifted to decentralized content sharing platforms after the issue came to limelight.

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Apple ‘watching cryptocurrency’, considering Apple Pay tipping features

Now, Apple Pay vice president Jennifer Bailey has hinted that Apple is also keeping a close eye on cryptocurrency, while also looking at ways to …

Apple has taken its push into consumer finance up a notch recently with Apple Card and the continued expansion of Apple Pay. Now, Apple Pay vice president Jennifer Bailey has hinted that Apple is also keeping a close eye on cryptocurrency, while also looking at ways to improve Apple Pay.

Ecobee HomeKit Thermostat

At a private event in San Francisco this week, Bailey explained to CNN that cryptocurrency is something that Apple is “watching” and that the company believes it has long-term potential:

“We’re watching cryptocurrency,” Jennifer Bailey, vice president of Apple Pay, recently told CNN’s Chief Business Correspondent Christine Romans at a private event in San Francisco. “We think it’s interesting. We think it has interesting long-term potential.”

This is the first time Bailey has acknowledged Apple’s interest in cryptocurrency, though it’s unclear what the company’s intentions might be. Square has added support for trading cryptocurrency to its iOS app, and theoretically, similar functionality could be added to the Wallet app on iOS. Whether or not that’s something Apple has planned remains to be seen.

Elsewhere, Bailey noted that adoption of contactless payments has been slower in the United States than in Europe, but that Apple is seeing improvements:

“When you go to Europe, they bring you a wireless terminal. You can tap to pay,” she said. “We see that happening in the US too, but it’s still taking some time.” Bailey also noted that it can be costly for businesses like gas stations to adopt new systems.

Also in terms of adoption, Bailey said that Apple battles consumer perception that paying with a physical card is more secure than Apple Pay:

Apple must also grapple with what Bailey calls a “misperception” among some consumers that “paying with your physical card is more secure than actually paying with your mobile phone.” The truth, she adds, “is completely the opposite.” But Bailey admits “a lot of education” is still needed to help consumers understand that point.

One thing Bailey acknowledged is that tipping is sometimes made harder with Apple Pay, due in large part to the lack of support on certain point-of-sale terminals. “One of the key areas where customers would like us to do more is actually in tipping,” Bailey said.

There are numerous ways Apple could change how tipping works, including incorporating features into Apple Cash and Apple Card.

Last but not least, Bailey addressed concerns about the Apple Card’s durability and Apple’s recent support document outlining how to keep Apple Card in good shape. “We want it always to look perfect and unblemished,” Bailey said.

What do you think of Bailey’s comments? Would you be interested in seeing Apple Pay adopt new tipping and cryptocurrency features? Let us know down in the comments.

Withings smart scale


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Detroit Transit Agencies Launch Dart App for Mobile Transit Payments and Passes, Powered by …

Passport is backed by Bain Capital Ventures, Grotech Ventures, MK Capital, and Relevance Capital. For more information, visit passportinc.com.
Dart App follows Park Detroit App as Passport helps optimize mobility in Detroit

Beginning today, transit riders in Detroit can use the new Dart mobile app to pay for transit passes. Dart is the unified payment system that enables customers to buy transit passes that can be used on Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) and Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) fixed-route buses and the QLINE streetcar. Now with the Dart mobile app, customers can buy Dart passes directly on their smartphones.

The Dart app, created by Passport, is an innovative way to purchase transit passes. Users download the app, create an account with payment information and then, buy passes directly on their phones. Upon purchase, users have immediate access to an electronic pass. With the Dart app, users can select a 4-hour, 24-hour, 7-day or 31-day pass at standard or reduced fare rates. Currently, the app features Dart passes, but will support individual agency passes in the future.

Today is a big step towards making it easier to ride transit in the Detroit region,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “The Dart mobile app is another demonstration of DDOT, SMART, and QLINE leadership and staff working together to improve the transit experience for our residents.”

We are excited to launch the new Dart mobile app to the City of Detroit and Southeast Michigan region,” said Angelica Jones, interim director, Detroit Department of Transportation. “Our goal is to make transit a system of choice for everyone, and this is just the beginning of continuous transit improvements for our customers.”

We are happy that after years of talking about ways to collaborate with DDOT and make it easier for riders to pay on either system, that we are finally doing it. Our number one goal is to benefit the riding public and the Dart app does just that,” said John C. Hertel, general manager of SMART, “It’s been great working with the Duggan administration and DDOT on these cooperative ventures which have been hoped for by many for so long.”

Passport works with the City of Detroit on a number of transportation initiatives, including the Park Detroit mobile app for parking. Detroit is also a part of the company’s micro-mobility pilot program to test electric scooter pricing models.

We are thrilled to continue our work with the city of Detroit to power the new Dart regional transit app,” said Tom Weise, sales executive at Passport. “With the app, we can make it easier for customers to pay for transit passes and encourage transit ridership throughout the Detroit area.”

Users can download the Dart app from the App Store or Google Playstore and can visit thedartapp.com for more information.

About Passport

Passport is transforming mobility management for cities, empowering them to create more livable and equitable communities. Passport’s mobility platform enables clients to digitally coordinate all modes of transportation and implement real-time, data-centric management of their curbside and street space through its enterprise software. Trusted by nearly 1,000 cities, universities and agencies, including Chicago, Toronto, London, Los Angeles, and Miami, Passport is one of the fastest-growing companies on the Inc. 500 and Deloitte Technology Fast 5000 lists. Passport is backed by Bain Capital Ventures, Grotech Ventures, MK Capital, and Relevance Capital. For more information, visit passportinc.com.

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Android App Potentially Served Trojan to 100 Million+ Google Play Users

In summer 2019, the CamScanner – Phone PDF Creator app caught the attention of Kaspersky Lab. The program had generated more than 100 …

A PDF creator app potentially served a Trojan to more than 100 million Android users via downloads on the Google Play store.

In summer 2019, the CamScanner – Phone PDF Creator app caught the attention of Kaspersky Lab. The program had generated more than 100 million downloads through the Google Play store, but in July and August, it began to receive negative user reviews suggesting the presence of unwanted features.

Upon a closer look, security researchers discovered that the app used an advertising library that contained a malicious dropper at the time of analysis. This dropper, detected by Kaspersky as Trojan-Dropper.AndroidOS.Necro.n, decrypted and executed malicious code contained within the mutter.zip file in the app’s resources. The dropper then decrypted a configuration file, revealing several locations from which it could download and then execute an additional module as its malicious payload.

After Kaspersky reported its findings to Google, the app was promptly removed from the app marketplace.

Malware Hiding on the Google Play Store

Trojan-Dropper.AndroidOS.Necro.n isn’t the only malware family that’s been found on the Google Play store. In April 2019, for instance, Check Point detected a clicker malware family, dubbed PreAMo, that generated more than 90 million downloads across six apps available on the Play store.

That was just two months before ESET discovered several apps available for download on Google’s official app marketplace that were capable of stealing one-time passwords in SMS-based two-factor authentication (2FA) messages without achieving the proper permissions. And in August 2019, Trend Micro detected adware hidden within 85 photography and gaming apps that had registered a combined total of 8 million downloads on the Google Play store.

How to Defend Against Mobile App Threats

Security professionals can help defend their organizations against threats like Necro.n by following mobile security best practices, which include keeping devices up to date with the latest software patches and restricting app downloads to only trusted developers on official app marketplaces. Companies should also use a unified endpoint management (UEM) tool to monitor all devices for suspicious activity and automatically remediate suspicious behavior.

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Infected Android App with 100M Downloads Found in Google Play

If you’ve got good Android antivirus software on your phone, run a scan. … Kaspersky naturally recommends its own Kaspersky Internet Security for …

An Android app with more than 100 million downloads from the official Google Play Store contained a backdoor that permitted the installation of any kind of malicious software without the phone user’s knowledge, Kaspersky researchers disclosed yesterday (Aug. 27).

The app, called CamScanner, lets you digitize text and create PDFs from documents by simply taking photographs of them, and was removed from the Play Store after Kaspersky notified Google of it. But the simple fact that it was in there at all shows how difficult — or, alternately, what a lousy job Google is doing — to keep malware out of the official Android app store.

If you’ve got a copy of CamScanner on your Android phone, uninstall it. If you’ve got good Android antivirus software on your phone, run a scan. If you don’t, get some.

MORE: Best Android Antivirus Apps

On the upside, not everyone who installed CamScanner got the backdoor on their phones, especially if they didn’t bother updating the app.

“CamScanner was actually a legitimate app, with no malicious intensions whatsoever, for quite some time,” a Kaspersky blog posting yesterday said. “However, at some point, that changed, and recent versions of the app shipped with an advertising library containing a malicious module.”

Igor Golovin and Anton Kivva, the Kaspersky researchers who documented the malware, theorize that CamScanner’s developer, INTSIG Information Co., Ltd., might not even have been aware of the infection.

“It can be assumed that the reason why this malware was added was the app developers’ partnership with an unscrupulous advertiser,” they wrote in the Kaspersky technical writeup.

Screenshot of CamScanner HD page in Google Play Store website.

A screenshot of the CamScanner HD page, which has the same logo as the removed CamScanner app, on the Google Play Store website.

(Image credit: INTSIG/Google)

That’s certainly possible. Many mobile apps have only limited control over where their ads come from, and malicious ad injection — “malvertising” — has plagued legitimate websites for many years.

But the upshot was that the backdoor — a “dropper” in information-security parlance — would open up a clandestine avenue to far-off servers, which could then push down any kind of software for installation on phones running CamScanner.

“The owners of the module can use an infected device to their benefit in any way they see fit, from showing the victim intrusive advertising to stealing money from their mobile account by charging paid subscriptions,” Golovin and Kivva wrote.

Ironically, or perhaps tragically, the backdoor had been removed from the most recent version of CamScanner before Google kicked the app out of the Play Store, the researchers said. (An app that creates a “license” for the paid version of CamScanner is still in Google Play, as is an older version of the app called CamScanner HD.)

How to avoid infection

So how do you keep malware out of your Android phone when even the official Play Store can be infected?

First, check the user comments on every app before you install it. The Kaspersky researchers were tipped off to the CamScanner problem because “negative user reviews that ha[d] been left over the past month have indicated the presence of unwanted features.”

Second, check the permissions on the app. On a desktop or laptop, scroll all the way down on the app’s Play Store web page and click “View details” under Permission. On a phone or tablet, click “About this app” on the Play Store app page, scroll all the way down to “App permissions” and tap “See More.” If an app that doesn’t need to make calls, use audio or get your specific location takes those permissions anyway, that should raise red flags.

Third, install and use good Android antivirus software, as mentioned earlier. Kaspersky naturally recommends its own Kaspersky Internet Security for Android, which is pretty good, but we like Bitdefender Mobile Security and Norton Mobile Security either. Bitdefender even has a no-cost version called Bitdefender Antivirus Free for anyone who doesn’t want to pay $15 a year.

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