Recently a link that claims to change WhatsApp's interface from traditional green to pink has been making the rounds. Experts warn that the link is a virus and cautioned users from clicking on the link or downloading the associate APK.
Experts say that clicking on the link will make users' phones vulnerable to hacking and they may lose access to their WhatsApp accounts. The link has been cleverly masked as a Whatsapp update and even promises users new features. It is however malware.
Experts warn against malicious WhatsApp link
Rajshekhar Rajaharia, cybersecurity expert posted the following on social media platforms, “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 #WhatsappPink. Complete access to your phone will be lost.” In a later tweet, he clarified that the link only seems to impact android users. Many people have been sharing and forwarding the link without recognizing its harmful nature.
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Director of cyber intelligence firm Voyager Infosec, Jiten Jain has advised users to never install any APK files or mobile apps that do not originate from the official Apple and Google app stores. “Such malicious apps can be used to compromise your phone and steal personal data like photos, SMS, contacts, etc. Keyboard-based malware can be used to track everything you type. It can be used to capture and steal banking passwords. The current case of Pink Whatsapp or Whatsapp Gold is also a case of malware impersonating as fake Whatsapp feature apps.” Jain said.
WhatsApp's statement regarding the virus
In a statement to PTI regarding the #Whatsapppink virus the company said, “Anyone can get an unusual, uncharacteristic or suspicious message on any service, including email, and anytime that happens we strongly encourage everyone to use caution before responding or engaging. On WhatsApp in particular, we also recommend that people use the tools that we provide within the app to send us a report, report a contact or block contact.”
A quick history of WhatsApp
WhatsApp was founded in 2009 by Brian Acton and Jan Koum. Both used to be employees at Yahoo! As most people suspect, the messenger was named 'WhatsApp' as it sounds similar to 'What's Up' a common opening question in English slang. In Feb 2014 Facebook, Inc. acquired WhatsApp for USD 19 billion. This is Facebook's largest acquisition to date.
Feature image: Twitter via @rajaharia