Hackers are targeting unsuspecting users with a mobile virus that is distributed via legitimate-looking Word documents sent inside WhatsApp (provided the chat app still works).
Once opened, these documents are capable of siphoning sensitive information from users, including online banking credentials and other personal data.
The virus has also been disguised as a Microsoft Excel or PDF file, according to users.
So far, the technique has only been demonstrated in India, with the malicious files bearing the names of the NDA (National Defence Academy) and NIA (National Investigation Agency) to try and lure WhatsApp users into downloading and opening the virus-laced files.
According to a report by the Economic Times, central security services in India have issued a notification to the NDA and NIA, since it is believed the WhatsApp attacks are attempts to target people in uniform.
“However, it has been analysed that the men and women in defence, paramilitary and police forces could be the target groups.”
The virus is purportedly able to access personal data stored on the smartphone, including banking credentials and PIN codes.
WhatsApp is aware that cybercriminals use its app to try and steal users’ information
WhatsApp is aware that spam messages manage to make their way onto its secure platform. According to the hugely-successful firm, “We work diligently to reduce any spam messages that come through our system.Creating a safe space for users to communicate with one another is a priority.”
Media Bites Editorial- Waqar Ul Haq