In recent months, attacks in WhatsApp have increased dramatically and hackers have a new method to steal accounts. One of them is to impersonate the technical support of the application to obtain valuable information through SMS. What is this form of theft and what can you do to avoid falling? Here we tell you.
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According to the cybersecurity company Panda Security, the attackers pretend to be part of the technical support of the app and send a message via WhatsApp informing of an alleged illegitimate login, which would imply that another user logged in on a new device:
“The trick is that, shortly after, the attackers themselves try to start a session with the victim’s phone number, who then receives an SMS from WhatsApp with a security code,” Panda Security warns. “If the victim sends that code to the cybercriminals, completely lose control of your account and it is giving up its username to attackers ”.
In this way, the same hackers use the SMS that their victim received with the supposed intention of verifying that the person who receives it is the owner of the account. If you receive a similar message via WhatsApp in which you are alerted of an alleged misuse of your account, do not answer it or share the code with anyone– If cybercriminals obtain that information from your account, you will lose access along with all your personal data and files.
Even when attackers gain full access to a stolen WhatsApp account, they can use it as a new means to spoof identities and fool other people to steal new accounts. After stealing an account, cybercriminals send a WhatsApp message to all the people on their agenda asking them to resend a security code that they will receive via SMS. In this way, a chain is made that increases with each stolen WhatsApp account.
Panda Security points out that this is not the only method to steal WhatsApp accounts: a Google search on “how to hack WhatsApp”Returns more than 2.5 million results. Thus, even if it is an illegal act, many people try it and many others end up succeeding.
“It is a crime against privacy that can carry penalties of between one and four years in prison and that, unfortunately, is more common than you might think.”