Sunday, August 29, 2021

WhatsApp: Experts Discover Dangerous Virus in Unofficial Versions

WhatsApp is, without a doubt, the most important messaging app in the world. With more than two billion people registered on its platform, it is ranked as the third largest social platform, only behind Facebook and YouTube, which occupy the first and second positions, respectively. This is why it is not uncommon that, as with most popular software, there are people or companies that live developing unofficial versions of WhatsApp with some features that the original has not adapted for itself or that it has half-finished.

For example, one of the most popular is WhatsApp Plus, a version that, unlike the normal WhatsApp, allows you to customize several important details of the interface such as the color or design of the menus or chats.

However, although they may seem more attractive, these types of applications can bring with them a series of bad experiences to users who install them on their cell phones, especially those with Android operating systems. It is not uncommon to see reports from companies specialized in cybersecurity denouncing irregularities in these versions, in which, of course, computer viruses are the protagonists.

This is the case of a new malware that was recently found in a version known as FM WhatsApp, which not only infects the computer on which the application is installed, but also collaborates as a mediator for downloading more and more viruses.

According to the cybersecurity company Kaspersky, this malware is part of the Trojan family and is popularly known as Triada.

How does the Triada virus work?

According to the Russian company, Triada is nothing more than a Trojan that mediates between the user (without the user realizing it) and another type of malware that, although it sounds incredible, enters the cell phone with the person's authorization.

Thus, it is only necessary for the virus to be downloaded to the cell phone for it to start displaying excessive advertising or even to generate a series of subscriptions of which the user has no knowledge. In the most extreme case, the malware could intercept other personal information by sending text messages that people must accept in order to log in to the app.

"With this app, it is difficult for users to recognize the potential threat, because the mod (malware) actually serves its purpose, which is to add additional functions. However, we have observed how cybercriminals have started to spread malicious files through the ads of such applications," said Igor Golovin, Kaspersky expert.

Taking this into account, Golovin assured that there are no shortcuts to control the consequences of this virus, and that the best thing to do is simply not to download FM WhatsApp or any unofficial version of this application.

"Therefore, we recommend using only messaging software downloaded from official app stores. Possibly these may lack some additional features, but they will not install a bunch of malware on your phone," the expert added.

At the moment, cases of victims of this virus have been reported in some Latin American countries, such as Mexico, with 2474 detections, Brazil (2337), Venezuela (690), Colombia (636), Peru (362), Argentina (311), Ecuador (226) and Chile (160).

In conclusion, it is advisable to continue relying on the original WhatsApp software and the periodic updates that its parent company, Facebook Inc. is creating to keep its users safe from all kinds of cyber attacks.

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