Cryptocurrency wallet Samourai has announced that it would be disabling security features from the latest version of their application on Play Store. The announcement was published by Samourai on Jan.7
The company’s Twitter handle confirmed the news that it will be discarding features like the Stealth Mode, Remote SMS Commands and SIM Switch Defense.
Sad but true, @GooglePlay is forcing us to remove Stealth Mode, SMS Commands, and SIM Switch Defense features as they transition to becoming more of a "Walled Garden" – despite the fact these features have proven record of helping users transact safely. https://t.co/kLRQT9PWvh
— Samourai Wallet (@SamouraiWallet) January 8, 2019
Criticizing Google’s move of forcing them to remove the features, Samourai added – “To this day no other wallet has enabled these types of features, and now it is very likely no other wallet will thanks to the heavy hand of Google.”
Since 2018, Google has been monitoring transparency levels for third-party add-ons. Samourai also claimed that it had provided evidence to the officials at Google about the SIM Switch Defense feature, which helped users to safeguard themselves from SIM swap attacks, as and when there were attempts of hacking.
Highlighting more about the feature, Samourai wrote:
“It made us very proud that our little feature was protecting users from the horrible OpSec of network carriers which allow SIM Swap attacks to occur,” also adding Google’s approach over this, it said, “Google does not care about any of this, however, and Samourai Wallet would have been removed from the Google Play Store had we not complied with this dictate.”
Another feature that raised doubts with regards to Google’s new set of policies was the Stealth Mode feature. As per Samourai, the feature allowed users to hide their cryptocurrency app from their smartphones’ home screen and launcher.
The Remote SMS feature, on the other hand, was also the victim of Google’s anti-theft applications and was later ousted from the Samourai Wallet.
The feature allowed the owners of lost devices to “remotely erase their Bitcoin wallet” from their devices, to prevent further losses.
Samourai is also seeking for alternatives, as it explained in the blog – “In the coming months we will expand our distribution model to include self hosted APK downloads and inclusion in the open source F-Droid app store.” All of the discarded features will be available on these versions, the company confirmed.
Apologizing for the inconvenience caused to its users, the company concluded the post with a positive note saying, “We hope to bring these features back somehow in the future in the Google Play Store release, and are dedicated to offering the full feature set experience via alternative distribution methods such as direct download and F-Droid in the coming months.”
The crypto world has a major concern of security, even with the so-called authentic wallets or mining applications. But Google’s policy on disabling Samourai’s security features doesn’t make any sense, as these features only made the app safer to use.