WhatsApp users on Android have been issued with an urgent warning about a major new scam which gives cybercriminals 'complete control' over your account.
Security experts at Kaspersky have uncovered a dodgy knock-off version of WhatsApp called YoWahtsApp which promises extra features but laces them with malware.
The malware, called Triada, can give hackers complete control over your WhatsApp account and then use it to send scam messages to your contacts.
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That means your loved ones, including grandparents and kids, could all be at risk if you don't take steps to protect yourself.
Apparently, the infected app looks just like the real thing and takes advantage of the permissions you'd normally give to WhatsApp to do its dirty work.
As well as scamming your contacts, it can even sign up your phone to dodgy paid subscriptions and use these to drain your bank account every month—without your knowledge.
Dmitry Kalinin at Kaspersky said: "The infected build of YoWhatsApp is a fully working messenger with some additional features, such as customizing interface or blocking access to individual chats."
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He continued: "When installed, it asks for the same permissions as the original WhatsApp messenger, such as access to SMS. The same permissions are granted to the Triada Trojan.
"It, and similar malware, can use them to add paid subscriptions without the user's knowledge, for example."
If you want to make sure you're not vulnerable to this malware, make sure you only install and use the official WhatsApp programme from the Google Play Store. If WhatsApp catches you on an unofficial version, they may well ban your account anyway, so just keep things above board.
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