It is with great sadness that we are disabling the following features within Samourai Wallet as of version 0.99.04 - which will be released tomorrow - due to new extremely restrictive policies Google has decided to introduce in their effort to become more of a “walled garden” experience:
- Stealth Mode
- SIM Switch Defense
- Remote SMS Commands
All three of these features have been included in Samourai Wallet since our first release in 2015 and have helped define our product as a unique offering instead of the same old lazy copy paste job that is rife in this industry, as well as provide protection and security to the countless users who rely on these features. 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.
We applied for an exemption with Google months ago, which was rejected days ago, despite our argument that removing such functionality would cause users who rely on those features to be less secure and more exposed. We also provided evidence of the SIM Switch Defense feature alerting users countless times to attempted SIM Swap attacks on their SIM Cards. 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. 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.
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. These versions will all include the Stealth Mode, Remote SMS, and SIM Switch Defense features.
Again, we are sorry for this inconvenience, but our hands have been tied by Google. 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.