On Monday, the developers Samourai Wallet – mobile wallet of Bitcoin with high confidentiality – announced that they had to disable a number of security features because of “new, extremely restrictive policies” in the Google Play Store. The developers have applied for exemption from the new rules, but Google rejected their request.
“With a heavy heart we disable some functions in Samourai Wallet starting with version 0.99.04, which will be released tomorrow, a new highly restrictive policies that Google has decided to introduce in its attempt to become a “Golden cage”.
The list of these features includes “Stealth Mode”, “SIM Switch Defense” and “Remote SMS Commands”. The developers said that they have applied for exemption from the new rules and explained to Google that “removal of this functionality will lead to the fact that users who rely on those features will be less secure and more vulnerable”. However, the tech giant rejected their claim. The developers noted that Google doesn’t care about any of the safety benefits offered by the purse, adding:
“Samourai Wallet would be removed from the Google Play Store, if we do not comply with this requirement.”
Three functions that will soon disappear from the wallet, was part of the Samourai Wallet since its release in 2015. These are advanced settings, which are disabled by default. According to the developers, “to date, no other wallet did not include these types of functions, and now, most likely, no one purse will not do it, thanks to the heavy hand of Google”.
One of the three to be removed, functions – SIM Switch Defense is described as a function that warns “users that their SIM card has been hacked because of the extremely low security level network operator”. This is achieved by sending a hidden SMS message to a trusted mobile phone number when the SIM card the phone was brought under control by attackers.
Another feature that you will have to disable Stealth Mode, which gives users the ability to hide your wallet application from attackers that have physical access to the smartphone. Enabling this feature requires that the app’s access to outgoing calls untraceable.
“Many users in South America who use this feature now at risk, thanks to Google Play,” wrote the developers on Twitter on Monday.
The last function that doesn’t satisfy Google, it’s Remote SMS Commands, which “enables users who lost their device, remotely wipe the purse to prevent further loss of their funds.”
“Google Play has deprived users of this function,” write the developers wallet.
Team Samourai said that he hoped to return these functions in the Google Play Store in the future. Meanwhile, the developers intend to renew the offer of all functions “through alternative distribution methods such as direct download and F-Droid” in the coming months.
F-Droid is the most popular market for alternative apps for Android – has less restrictions than Google Play Store but the installation process may be too complex for some users. The developers Samourai wrote:
“In the coming months we will expand our distribution model, integrating APK the file [install package Android] with your own server, by adding it to the app store open source F-Droid. All of these versions will enable Stealth Mode, Remote Switch SMS and SIM Defense”.
Samourai developers advised users to turn off Stealth Mode before upgrading to a new version.
Samourai Wallet are popular among users as a purse that puts in first place the security and privacy. In 2017, the application team has created a tool that helps to deal with the problem of overflow blocks. An app called Bitcoin Afterburner allows customers of various Bitcoin wallets to spur transactions hung due to low commissions.
Election discretion Google Play, meanwhile, raises questions. In November a computer security expert Lukas Stefanko (Lukas Stefanko) announced that it has discovered in the Google Play app store just four fake cryptocurrency wallet, which steal user data. Earlier in the month he found in Google Play another user application program Easy Rates Converter, which steals user data traditional Bank applications and cryptocurrency exchanges.
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