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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

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Look after! Fake WhatsApp called YoWhatsApp stealing users’ data; stay safe this way

Researchers from security companies have warned phone users about the fake WhatsApp app YoWhatsApp.

WhatsApp, the instant messaging app is a go-to app for texting, calling, video calling, education, business and much more. Its growing popularity has made it a hotbed for cybercriminals. Recently, a fake WhatsApp lookalike app called YoWhatsApp has appeared on the internet that scams users by tricking them into using fake versions of the app full of malware. It allows hackers to compromise users’ accounts and steal their information. YoWhatsApp is a fully working messenger app that requests the same permissions as the default WhatsApp app, including access to SMS. The permissions are even granted to the Triada Trojan embedded in the app. The malicious app is promoted through advertisements on popular Android applications such as Snaptube and Vidmate.

The app even allows users to customize the interface or block access to chats, attracting users to install it. The YoWhatsApp campaign was first discovered by security researchers at Kaspersky. The scary thing about this app is stealing WhatsApp access keys and allowing attackers to perform various actions without user consent. In addition, the attackers can also eavesdrop on the conversations, steal identity data and much more.

Furthermore, users can even subscribe the victims to premium services, making them pay out money without their notice.

That’s not all, the researchers have found another YoWhatsApp clone called “WhatsApp Plus”, with the same malicious functionality. The app is distributed through the VidMate app. A few months ago, Will Cathcart, head of WhatsApp at Meta, also warned users about using this fake WhatsApp that can compromise users’ data on their phones. He tweeted: “Recently, our security team discovered hidden malware in apps – offered outside of Google Play – from a developer called “HeyMods”, including “Hey WhatsApp” and others.”

How do you stay protected from fake WhatsApp apps?

Users should only install apps from authorized sources such as the official Google Play Store or the Apple App Store to stop attacks by these malicious apps.

Cathcart also asked users to download it from the trusted app stores like Google Play Store or App Store or install it directly from WhatsApp’s official website to protect themselves from malware attacks.

If you have already downloaded this fake app, make sure to remove it from your phone immediately. There is no other solution available.

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