Many users have already considered fleeing, the messaging app following recent changes in the privacy policy. The app suffered a massive loss of users, after many believed their messages would become less private and switched to Signal or Telegram. To make matters worse, WhatsApp is now being used to spread malware through messages from a user’s contacts, prompting them to “download this application and win Mobile Phone.”

Anyone who falls for the scam is taken to a Google Play Store lookalike site, and once the app is downloaded, are asked to grant notification access. However, this allows hackers to abuse the WhatsApp quick reply feature, and foreward the malware link to anyone who sends the victim a message. As the messages originate from someone in the user’s contact list (most probably someone they trust), people are more likely to fall for the scam.

Ray Walsh, Tech Expert at ProPrivacy says: “This is the first worm type attack that spreads via WhatsApp messages, and what is concerning is that it could actually be expanded to work with other messengers that leverage Android’s quick reply feature too. Users are reminded that they should not download any apps unless they have found them in the official app store, and to remember never to download any apps after clicking on links in a WhatsApp message.”


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