Gadget Insights: For the past few days, an anonymous WhatsApp forward message with a link has been going around users to users suggesting them to download a supposedly modified version of the messaging app known as “Pink WhatsApp”. However once downloaded, no visible changes to the app’s outlook in colors happen.
When users visit the online link expecting to download the modified version of the app, it happens that the users’ data in their device is stolen by remote hackers. One particular Cyber security researcher named Rajshekhar Rajaharia had warned people against the scam on Twitter. He also shared screenshots of the interface of the malicious app.
The interface of the malicious app seems very similar to the original version.
“Beware of WhatsApp Pink!! A Virus is being spread in #WhatsApp groups with an APK download link. Don’t click any link with the name of WhatsApp Pink. Complete access to your phone will be lost, said Rajaharia.
Here is how you can identify such fake applications:
When it comes to downloading such apps, never trust WhatsApp forwards. In case if you come across any such messages hinting at an availability of modified versions like WhatsApp Pink or any other, it is best to you cross-verifying on Google for its legitimacy. Check for the “forwarded” labels on the messages you receive.
Whether they are updates or modifications, always source them from Google Play Store or iOS. Do not trust unverified websites online that offer .apk versions of updates for your apps. It is important that you should never use modified versions of any application unless it is from the company that owns the application.
When apps are downloaded, they usually ask for permissions to use contacts, microphones, cameras, speakers and others depending on the purpose of the app. So be aware of the permissions you authorize for certain applications always.
Even Play Store or iOS is infested with such illegitimate applications from unknown publishers, so it is best to take a look at the reviews, screenshots of the interface and publisher information before downloading and using anything.
Getting rid of WhatsApp Pink:
- Uninstall the application. Unlink all devices that is enabled with WhatsApp Web.
- Clear the browser cache.
- Check for permissions given to the app. Disable all the permissions immediately.
It is also reported that the app goes into a hiding mode once installed. In case of it happens, visit Apps section in Settings and look for the app and uninstall it.