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    WhatsApp WARNING – Fake version of chat app can steal information from YOUR phone

    WhatsApp users have been warned about a fake version of the Facebook-owned app which can steal sensitive user data.
    Research from security experts Malwarebytes uncovered the bogus app called WhatsApp Plus.
    The app isn’t found on the official Google Play Store or Apple App Store, but is instead being circulated on blogs and forums online.
    When users install and load it up they are greeted with a gold WhatsApp logo and the option to ‘agree’ to terms and conditions and ‘continue’.
    But once that green button is pressed they are told that the WhatsApp version they are trying to install is out of date.
    They are told to either “go to Google Play Store to download latest version” or press a download button.
    However, once they press the ‘download’ button users are taken to a webpage written entirely in Arabic.
    Malwarebytes said the fake WhatsApp claims to offers features such as running four WhatsApp accounts and hiding ‘typing message’ notifications.
    It can also allegedly hide double ticks and blue ‘read’ ticks as well.
    However instead of doing that, the app is capable of stealing users’ personal information like their mobile number, name and even sent or received media.
    In a blog post, Malwarebytes said: “The incriminating code of Android/PUP.Riskware.Wtaspin.GB is within receivers, services, and activities starting with com.gb.atnfas. This code is in various fake WhatsApp APKs. The only difference of the aforementioned version from above is the code points to the Arabic webpage to update.
    “After analyzing several different versions of PUP.Riskware.Wtaspin.GB, it appears all have different URLs from which to update.
    “Thus, everyone is just copy catting the original source code and adding their own “update” website. So, who is the original author of this riskware? Is the Arabic developer, Abu, the originating author?
    “The code of this riskware is complex. The webpage of the developer claiming to be owner—not so complex. Although I won’t completely rule out the possibility, let’s just say I am skeptical.
    “No matter the true author or origin of this fake Whatsapp, I suggest sticking with the real WhatsApp on Google Play. Although Google Play has its faults, it’s tremendously safer than some of the sources I came across researching this riskware.
    “Stay safe out there!”
    In other WhatsApp news, Express.co.uk last month revealed that users of the chat app were being warned about a new scam which could try and trick them into handing over personal details.
    This fake message, which appears to come from Heineken, suggests users can win free beer by following a link to an official website.
    Once clicked it not only tries to get hold of personal details but also sends the message on to 20 friends.
    The scam is so bad it’s even got the attention of the police with a message on Twitter saying: “It sounds like a great offer but it’s a scam DO NOT CLICK THE LINK #fraud.”
    Heineken has also released a warning telling WhatsApp users to be aware of the issue.
    In a statement the beer company said: “The promotion states Heineken is giving away free kegs in celebration of its 140th Anniversary, and encourages recipients to share the message.
    “This is indeed a scam and is not sanctioned by Heineken.
    “Promotions of this type will always be announced via official Heineken® channels.
    “We do not advise consumers to click on the link, share personal data, or share the message within their networks.
    “When in doubt, please contact the consumer service hotline in your market.
    “Note that versions of the scam message may also circulate via Twitter and Facebook.
    “If one of these messages comes your way, do not follow any links that it contains.”

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