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WhatsApp Virus Circulates Through Fake Pink Theme

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Don’t be lured in by the temptation of customization.

I stopped using WhatsApp after that whole privacy policy kerfuffle with Facebook. Or, to be more specific, my sister made my family and I stop using it and switch to Signal, and we’re all too afraid of her to disagree. But even with Facebook’s questionable policies, plenty of people are still using WhatsApp, as it is still a very convenient chatting service. Of course, as with any service with a large userbase, there is always a bad actor or twenty looking to take advantage of them with a seemingly innocuous offer.

A scam has begun circulating through WhatsApp wherein users are sent what appears to be an official app update message. The message touts a new color scheme option for the app that will dress it all up in pastel pink, and all you have to do to get the “update” is click the link and download an APK. However, while this link apparently will turn your WhatsApp pink, it’ll also give hackers free reign on your device, as well as all of your contacts.

“Such malicious apps can be used to compromise your phone and steal personal data like photos, SMS, contacts etc.,” explained Jiten Jain, director of cybersecurity firm Voyager Infosec, to Outlook India. “Keyboard based malwares can be used to track everything you type. It can be used to capture and steal banking passwords. The current case of Pink WhatsApp or WhatsApp Gold is also a case of malware impersonating as fake WhatsApp feature apps.”

“Anyone can get an unusual, uncharacteristic or suspicious message on any service, including email, and anytime that happens we strongly encourage everyone to use caution before responding or engaging,” a WhatsApp spokesperson said on the matter. “On WhatsApp in particular, we also recommend that people use the tools that we provide within the app to send us a report, report a contact or block contact.”