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WhatsApp gets used by yet another malware scam

Authored by: Kris Carlon — Mar 7, 2014

I wonder if Facebook are at all worried by the frequency with which WhatsApp seems to be getting used by dodgy malware apps to scrape user's phone numbers? It was only a few weeks ago that WhatsApp's usage of your phone number as your account identifier was being used by some dodgy apps to register users to premium text messaging services. Well, the same scam is at play once again from a different app.

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WhatsApp just can't seem to catch a break right now where scams are involved. / © WhatsApp, Google, AndroidPIT

The app, a night vision camera app called Cámara Visión Nocturna was uncovered by avast! Security to be doing the exact same thing as the previous malware apps were doing: hacking WhatsApp's notoriously poor security to get ahold of your phone number and sign you up for a costly SMS service. The scam apparently also attempts to use Samsung's ChatON service for the same purposes. It therefore stands to reasons that any app with your phone number attached could be at risk.

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This is the malware app - with a package name of com.loriapps.nightcamera / © Four Seasons

Avast! Mobile Security users are covered as the company has updated their malware definitions so you will see any attempts of this sort showing up as Android: Fake Cam. If you have this app or have been considering installing it, think again or delete it. Hopefully there's a lesson in this for you too: read the permissions any new apps are requesting and ditch the ones that sound suspect. That's how the team discovered this one, thinking a camera app's request for your accounts and to read and write SMS sounded a bit dodgy. Take a leaf from their book and be on the lookout.

If this has you concerned, check out our list of safe and secure WhatsApp alternatives and the best instant messenger services for Android. But beware, it seems some of these WhatsApp alternatives are deemed unsafe by security experts too.

Have you ever been scammed by a malware attack? What steps do you take to protect your smartphone?

Source: Avast! Blog

Kris Carlon comes to the AndroidPIT Editorial Team via a lengthy period spent traveling and relying on technology to keep him in touch with the outside world. He joined the Android community while resurfacing in civilization back in 2010 and has never looked back, using technology to replace his actual presence in other people's lives ever since. He can usually be found juggling three phones at once and poring over G+ posts, Reddit and RSS feeds.

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