Millions of iPhone, iPad and Android users have been notified of two new Whatsapp alerts that could prevent the devices from sending messages or handing over highly personal and sensitive information to cybercriminals.
The first alert is for all Android devices, hackers using a fake version of the popular instant messaging service called YoWahtsApp – bundled with nasty malware known as Triada.
The security flaw was initially spotted by Kasperky experts.
Read more: Mum warns of WhatsApp scam after being scammed out of £10,000 by fraudster posing as her son
The Express reports that once installed, the bug allows hackers to take full control of an account – with fraudsters able to send malicious money-stealing messages to unknowing friends and contacts. the user. Modded versions of WhatsApp remain extremely popular, claiming to offer bonus features that cannot be found on the legit version.
As iPhones only allow installation of trusted apps – while Andoids can load without going through the Google Play Store, Android users are still most at risk from dubious apps and malware. Apple also checks all apps before they are released, hence why this type of scam usually only targets Android devices.
Explaining more about the threat, Kaspersky said, “Cybercriminals are increasingly using the power of legitimate software to distribute malicious applications. This means that users who choose popular apps and official installation sources can still fall victim to it.
“In particular, malware like Triada can steal an instant messaging account and, for example, use it to send unsolicited messages, including malicious spam. The user’s money is also at risk, because the malware can easily set up paid subscriptions for the victim”.
And while the first alert is strictly for Android users, there’s also an upcoming change that will affect a handful of iPhone owners. In May, Meta revealed that it would drop app support for all iPhones that are unable to run Apple’s iOS 12 operating system.
While most of Apple’s latest releases have no problem upgrading to the latest operating system, that’s bad news for anyone still using a colorful iPhone 5 or 5c. These aging devices will no longer be compatible with newer software, and from the end of the week, anyone using one will be disheartened to find that WhatsApp no longer works.
It seems that those with incompatible devices are already getting alerts saying, “Update to the latest version of iOS to continue using WhatsApp. WhatsApp will stop supporting this version of iOS after October 24, 2022.”
Along with this pop-up on iPhones, WhatsApp has also updated its support page which now states: “Currently we provide support and recommend using the following devices: Android running OS 4.1 and later, iPhone running iOS 12 and later.”
If your device can’t upgrade to iOS 12, you’ll need to purchase something new to continue using WhatsApp.