Chinese Authorities Warn About Fake Digital Yuan App

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In a recent announcement on WeChat, the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology revealed the discovery of a fraudulent digital yuan app, raising concerns over the potential compromise of sensitive user information. 

The Trojan Horse download, closely resembling the official version, has been designed not only to deceive users with its similarity but also to exploit their trust for financial gain. 

As reported by TheCoinRise, Hayden Adams, the founder of decentralized crypto exchange (DEX), Uniswap, recently cautioned users against deceptive user interfaces (UIs) in crypto wallets.

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Fake Digital Yuan App

The imposter digital yuan app, aside from promising enticing returns by “pulling dividends,” goes further to collect sensitive user data. Additionally, it offers a counterfeit customer service feature, redirecting users to “uncommon social tools,” which ultimately facilitates the unauthorized access and seizure of the users’ funds, according to the ministry’s statement.

The fake central bank digital currency app appears almost identical, using a logo with a slightly altered outline and a comparable user interface. However, the discrepancies lie in its name, version number, and MD5 message-digest identity, setting it apart from the authentic application.

No Information on App Creators

No information has been disclosed regarding the identity of the individuals or groups behind the scam, and measures being taken to curb its impact remain undisclosed. Notably, the fake digital yuan app has not been found on major app stores such as Apple or Google, highlighting the importance of vigilance when downloading financial applications.

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This incident is not the first of its kind, as similar scams targeting digital yuan users were exposed in 2021 and 2022. Former People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan, speaking at the 2023 China (Beijing) Digital Finance Forum, emphasized the increasing risk of fraudulent activities in the digital currency space due to lower technical costs and greater system convenience.

China and Digital Yuan

China’s strict anti-crypto stance has not deterred cybercriminals from exploiting vulnerabilities in the system. Despite official concerns about data theft and money laundering, some analysts argue that the crackdown on cryptocurrency aligns more with the government’s objective of preventing capital flight.

According to Yi Gang, the current governor of PBoC, the CBDC processed 1.8 trillion in digital yuan as of the conclusion of the month of June 2023. Yi claims

“In designing e-CNY, [we] try to ensure privacy protection and financial security through, by and large, anonymity and managed anonymity.”  

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