Copycat bitcoin wallet service “Electrum Pro” has shut down its website after the company it was attempting to impersonate released evidence demonstrating its software was “bitcoin-stealing malware.”
As CCN reported, the team behind Electrum (electrum.org) -- a popular lightweight bitcoin wallet that has been around since 2011 -- released evidence on GitHub demonstrating that the so-called Electrum Pro (electrum.com) was actually malware designed to steal users’ recovery seeds.
— Electrum (@ElectrumWallet) May 9, 2018
Despite protests to the contrary, Electrum Pro clearly intended to trick users into believing that it was an upgraded version of the official wallet. In addition to utilizing a similar domain name, Electrum Pro’s logo and website content gave the impression that the two projects were connected.
From an archived version of the Electrum Pro website:
“Electrum has been securing payments since 2011and is one of the most popular Bitcoin wallets. ElectrumPro is free software, released using the MIT license. Anyone can run an Electrum server. No single entity controls the network.”
Additionally, an advertisement for the copycat website ranked first in Google searches for "Electrum," which likely diverted many would-be users away from the official website and to its doppelganger.
The website has now been taken down and replaced with a message from potentially-pseudonymous Electrum Pro creator Lucas Lofgren.
Lofgren accuses the official Electrum of slandering his project’s reputation and says he and his team have decided to move onto other projects He added that he will sell the electrum.com domain for 25 BTC, worth roughly $215,000 at the current exchange rate.
"Due to false accusations from electrum.org, they have ruined our reputation and brand of Electrum Pro. They managed to trick several news outlets to slander us," Lofgren wrote. "We decided to go our seperate (sic) ways to work on different projects. Our domain ELECTRUM.COM is for sale now with a price of 25BTC, non-negotiable."
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