Hackers are targeting WhatsApp accounts using verification messages

By Faisal Saeed on
April 23, 2019
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WhatsApp accounts are being hacked in UAE using code verification messages.

The Telecommunications Authority of UAE has warned the WhatsApp users to not reply to code verification messages on the application. The authorities issued an advisory on Twitter and asked the users to the only reply to code verification messages triggered by the subscriber.

The Chief Technology Officer at security solutions provider “Help AG Middle East”, Nicolai Scolling, said that this hacking process is a widespread phenomenon and is commonly known as social engineering.

He further explained, “Scammers have hacked many accounts globally and their main intention is to gain control over WhatsApp accounts. What the scammer does is that he or she sends you a code on WhatsApp and tells the user to reply by clicking a link to verify the phone number”.

Generally, when you install WhatsApp for the first time on your device, the app sends you a verification code to check if you are the actual owner of the phone number, but this process is done automatically. However, in this case, the scammer is using the opportunity to hack your account using a code and a link.

“If you click the link, you are confirming that it is you on behalf of the scammer. By that way, the user can lose control of the WhatsApp messages and the scammer can read and send messages on your behalf.”

If you haven’t requested for a WhatsApp code, then you should not click on any confirmation links as this may be a scammer attempting to hack your account.

This type of hacking incidents have occurred in Pakistan as well, especially in Karachi, and for that PTA has urged the citizens to enable two-step verification for your WhatsApp accounts to prevent them from being hacked.

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