Security firm researchers have warned phone users of fake WhatsApp app called YoWhatsApp.
WhatsApp, the instant messaging app is a go-to app for texting, calling, video calling, education, business purposes and much more. Its growing popularity has made it a hotbed for cyber criminals. Recently, a fake WhatsApp look-alike app named YoWhatsApp has popped up on the internet that is scamming users by tricking them into using fake versions of the app riddled with malware. It allows hackers to compromise users’ accounts and steal their information. YoWhatsApp is a fully working messenger app that asks the same permissions as the standard WhatsApp app including accessing SMS. The permissions are even granted to the Triada Trojan that’s embedded in the app. The malicious app is promoted through advertisements on popular Android applications like Snaptube and Vidmate.
The app even lets users customize the interface or block access to chats, attracting users to install it. The YoWhatsApp campaign was first detected by security researchers at Kaspersky. The scary thing about this app is stealing WhatsApp’s access keys and allowing attackers to perform various actions without the user’s consent. Besides that the attackers can also eavesdrop on the conversations, steal identity data, and much more.
Further, it can even allow users to 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 named “WhatsApp Plus,” having the same malicious functionality. The app is being spread via the VidMate app. A few months back, Will Cathcart, Head of WhatsApp at Meta, has also warned users against using this fake WhatsApp that can compromise users’ data on their phones. He tweeted, “Recently our security team discovered hidden malware within apps – offered outside of Google Play – from a developer called “HeyMods” that included “Hey WhatsApp” and others.”
How to stay safe from fake WhatsApp apps?
Users should install apps only from authorized sources, such as the official Google Play Store or the Apple App Store in order to stop attacks by these malicious apps.
Cathcart too 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 in order to protect themselves from any malware attacks.
In case you have already downloaded this fake app, be sure to delete it immediately from your phone. There is no other solution available.