Man stole $ 800,000 in cryptocurrency sues Google • The Register

Last October, California resident Jacob Pearlman downloaded an Android version of a cryptocurrency wallet app called Phantom from the Google Play app store.

It’s been four months Before San Francisco-based Phantom Technologies has actually released an Android version of its digital wallet. The free Phantom Wallet app that Pearlman initially downloaded from Google Play was a fake. And when he linked his real Phantom wallet to the app, it cost him a small fortune.

“Less than 24 hours after downloading the fake ‘Phantom Wallet’ app from Google Play, Pearlman’s real Phantom wallet was drained of over $ 800,000 worth of virtual currencies, including SAMO, USDC, ORCA, and SOL, as well as four NFTs. additional, “his lawyers say in a lawsuit seeking to recover funds stolen from Google rather than the bogus app operator.


The complaint [PDF]filed in a higher court in Santa Clara County, seeks to hold Google liable for breaching its warranty regarding its security practices and terms of service.

However, the court minutes also indicate that Phantom 11 October 2021 issued a public notice that the Google store was offering low quality products. Back then, the real Phantom offered its crypto wallet as a browser extension for Chrome, Brave, Firefox, and Edge. Today it provides iOS and Android versions along with browser add-ons.

“Phantom is NOT available on iOS or Android,” the company tweeted last year. “Using a fake Phantom mobile app will result in your funds being stolen. Please help us by reporting these apps when you see them in the app stores.”

Users responded to this warning by complaining that they had been scammed and the next day Phantom said, “We’ve removed eight different apps this week alone. We can only remove them as soon as Google responds to our removal requests. “

However, Google appears not to have been able to keep fake cryptocurrency stealing apps out of Google Play.

“Despite Phantom’s efforts to prevent fake Android apps from the Google Play Store and despite Google’s blatant warning that it was offering ‘Phantom Wallet’ apps for download, a few days later, on October 21, 2021, Pearlman could, and did done, download one, ”Pearlman’s complaint said.

The court filing argues that by offering apps via Google Play, the Chocolate Factory represents those apps as safe and warrants through its terms of service that it oversees its services with reasonable care.

According to the complaint, Google “violated its warranty and terms of service by offering a fraudulent app, not warning Pearlman that the app could be dangerous, and not blocking Pearlman from downloading the app.”

When asked for comment, Google did not respond immediately.

Google asked for more time to respond, and the judge ruled that the case was complex, requiring more time. A case management conference is scheduled for next week.

If Pearlman is able to recover $ 800,000 from Google, the lawsuit looks like a better investment than the mix of stolen cryptocurrencies, so far. From October 21, 2021: SOL is down about 80% from $ 196.43; ORCA is down about 92% from $ 12.42; SAMO is down about 55% from its $ 0.029 price; and the USDC, pegged to the dollar, remains more or less the same.

If Phantom sounds familiar, it is because this week it was involved in an attack on Slope wallets in which millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrencies were stolen from around 8,000 wallets. ®

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