A popular privacy-focused crypto wallet has been forced to release its latest update on GitHub after Google Play asked it to remove certain features. Samourai Wallet was requested to remove Stealth Mode, SIM Switch Defense, and Remote SMS Commands before it was allowed to publish the latest update on the Google Play store. Samourai Wallet found the demands unacceptable and decided to go around Google Play due to the sheer number of SIM related attacks in the past year.
Protecting Against SIM Swap Attacks
One of the standout features of Samourai Wallet’s latest update is the ability to fend off SIM swap attacks. In a SIM swap attack a “hacker” calls up your network provider and claims to be you. They then proceed to persuade the network provider to send out a new SIM card to a new address, rendering your old SIM useless. From there, they have control of your mobile device and often your two-factor authentication. Samourai Wallet’s latest update will automatically detect this style of attack and ask for additional verification before enabling your wallet to be loaded onto a new device.
Privacy Like Never Before
On top of protection against SIM swap attacks, Samourai Wallet has upgraded its privacy features. Steal Mode prevents any meta-data from being shared to the blockchain network, meaning no funds you send or receive can be traced back to you. It also reduces the chances of having crypto exchange accounts shut down simply because of who you are – a surprisingly common occurrence these days.
Google Play Bringing Down the Banhammer
All of these features go against Google Play app standards, as they could potentially compromise device security should the developer go rogue. However, Samourai Wallet is a well-established crypto wallet provider, and the crypto community quickly joined in the fight against Google Play and its banhammer.
Censorship Still Hurting Crypto Adoption
Unfortunately, Google Play isn’t the only app out there bringing down the banhammer in the name of crypto censorship. Rockstar Games has prevented players naming their horse “Bitcoin” in its latest western adventure game, Red Dead Redemption 2. While it caused far less outrage compared to Samourai Wallet’s latest update not being pushed to the Play store, it certainly generated a bit of controversy.
Fortunately for Samourai Wallet, its army of devoted wallet users is willing to head over to GitHub to install the latest version. Never install a version of the wallet from any other GitHub repo other than the official Samourai Wallet repo, otherwise your crypto could be at risk – much like our anonymous crypto theft victim.