NEW DELHI: WhatsApp, being one of the most popular apps around the globe, is bound to have certain duplicates that could lead users in sharing their personal details with a third-party company. That said, a fake WhatsApp app has been spotted online. Named WhatsApp Plus, the app is said to gain access to your personal information, according to a report by Malwarebytes Lab.
It has been reported that the app is a variant of Android/PUP.Riskware.Wtaspin.GB, which is classified as a Fake WhatsApp riskware.
Shared via a link, the fake WhatsApp Plus app is downloaded as an. apk file. Once downloaded and installed, the app shows a gold WhatsApp logo in the middle with a URL and handle. Once you click on ‘Agree and continue’ the app will show itself as out of date and will prompt you to install and update.
“Please go to Google Play Store to download latest version,” says the message on the app. Tapping on it will redirect you to a dubious website where everything is written in Arabic. The website is for those who want to download ‘Watts Plus Plus WhatsApp’. Also mentioned is that the app is updated periodically.
The report by Malwarebytes Lab added that the app even includes features like hiding received texts, typing a message, reading texts and even hide if you have played a voice clip. The firm has not yet revealed how exactly the app works and gathers data.
“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,” concludes the website report.
It is apparent that Google still needs to have better control of malicious apps on Play Store.
That apps like these are still able to make it to the app market despite several guidelines and Google Play Protect is worrisome to some extent.