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Shango Lightning Wallet

Latest release: Varies with device ( 1st June 2019 ) 🔍 Last analysed 16th July 2021 . No source for current release found Not functioning anymore
1 thousand

Without public source of the reviewed release available, this product cannot be verified!

As part of our Methodology, we ask:

Is the source code publicly available?

If the answer is "no", we mark it as "No source for current release found".

A wallet that claims to not give the provider the means to steal the users’ funds might actually be lying. In the spirit of “Don’t trust - verify!” you don’t want to take the provider at his word, but trust that people hunting for fame and bug bounties could actually find flaws and back-doors in the wallet so the provider doesn’t dare to put these in.

Back-doors and flaws are frequently found in closed source products but some remain hidden for years. And even in open source security software there might be catastrophic flaws undiscovered for years.

An evil wallet provider would certainly prefer not to publish the code, as hiding it makes audits orders of magnitude harder.

For your security, you thus want the code to be available for review.

If the wallet provider doesn’t share up to date code, our analysis stops there as the wallet could steal your funds at any time, and there is no protection except the provider’s word.

“Up to date” strictly means that any instance of the product being updated without the source code being updated counts as closed source. This puts the burden on the provider to always first release the source code before releasing the product’s update. This paragraph is a clarification to our rules following a little poll.

We are not concerned about the license as long as it allows us to perform our analysis. For a security audit, it is not necessary that the provider allows others to use their code for a competing wallet. You should still prefer actual open source licenses as a competing wallet won’t use the code without giving it careful scrutiny.

The product cannot be independently verified. If the provider puts your funds at risk on purpose or by accident, you will probably not know about the issue before people start losing money. If the provider is more criminally inclined he might have collected all the backups of all the wallets, ready to be emptied at the press of a button. The product might have a formidable track record but out of distress or change in management turns out to be evil from some point on, with nobody outside ever knowing before it is too late.

But we also ask:

Is the product still supported by the still existing provider?

If the answer is "no", we mark it as "Not functioning anymore".

Discontinued products or worse, products of providers that are not active anymore, are problematic, especially if they were not formerly reproducible and well audited to be self-custodial following open standards. If the provider hasn’t answered inquiries for a year but their server is still running or similar circumstances might get this verdict, too.

Help spread awareness for build reproducibility

Please help us spread the word discussing transparency with Shango Lightning Wallet  via their Twitter!

Do your own research!

Try out searching for "lost bitcoins", "stole my money" or "scammers" together with the wallet's name, even if you think the wallet is generally trustworthy. For all the bigger wallets you will find accusations. Make sure you understand why they were made and if you are comfortable with the provider's reaction.

If you find something we should include, you can create an issue or edit this analysis yourself and create a merge request for your changes.

The Analysis 

Update 2021-07-16: This app is not available on the Play Store. Given our findings below, we don’t expect it to come back.

This app features

No hassle, instant setup. The Shango service offers you a FREE, secure LND cloud server instance paired to your device, without requiring you to master advanced technical skills and command line tools.

but although they set those servers up, they claim:

Note: Shango doesn’t hold any funds, does not store any user identifiable information, does not have access to any private keys nor perform any transactions. It relies on and sends commands to the open source daemon LND to perform Lightning network operations.

so that is certainly weird. Maybe the website is more informative …

Turns out, the website uses a ten months expired ssl certificate and greets us with:

Warning: Potential Security Risk Ahead

Not exactly inspiring confidence. So we ignore the warning for you and get rewarded with a link to their GitHub with the label:

Open Source

Don’t trust us, verify the code. All source files on Github.

but there we see some 20 files that are definitely not an Android app and no activity in over a year.

This app is for all we can see closed source and thus not verifiable.