By- Sangini Singhal
Delhi police Cyber Crime division is floating WhatsApp users to be careful about a new WhatsApp scan that is trending right now. This scam involves hijacking of WhatsApp account. Overuse of messaging application has soured through isolation and the information overload that has a company in the coronavirus pandemic. No platform other than WhatsApp has seen a greater search in messaging than market leader. The usage of WhatsApp is up more than 40% across the world and in some areas even more than that. Now, it is evident that the unprecedented public health emergency that we are going through has also seen a surge in cyber crime. Every imaginable scam, from malware to phishing, and from delivery Hijacked to counterfeits, has grown exponentially in recent weeks. It’s a trend that shows no signs of abating. Therefore, it comes as a little surprised that an alarming WhatsApp hack that has been going around for a year is now back and experiencing a new surge. The bad news is that it is extremely simple for Cyber criminal to execute and people tend to fall for it very easily. The campaign was taking over someone’s whatsapp account so that it can be used to communicate with the victims friends and families in order to carry out financial transactions. Delhi police in a series of tweets said that the fraudsters simply aim to lock out the users by using WhatsApp two factor authentication. The attackers obtain WhatsApp verification pin from the target using a pic account with official WhatsApp logo as display pictures to trick users into believing that it is the official account of WhatsApp tech team. Target is easily tricked when they see the message coming from an account appearing to be the official team account and share the pin. In reality attacker is trying to login from the target’s device into target’s WhatsApp user account to hijack the account. The hacker can then access the account of the target and use it to send fraudulent messages to friends and family of the target, asking for money, PIN, OTP, etc. However, the good news is that the fix is guaranteed and will take you less than two minutes.
Show the most obvious advice is to never send the 6 digit SMS to anyone for any reason. There have been other attackers covering other platforms using the same method. When a code is sent to your phone it relates to your phone. But there is a fix here that will protect your WhatsApp even if the SMS code was sent onward. This fix will ensure you can’t fall victim to this crime. The code sent by SMS when you set up your WhatsApp account on a new phone comes from WhatsApp itself. The platform sets the code and sends it to you. But there is a totally separate setting in your own WhatsApp application that allows you to your own 6 digit PIN number. There is some confusion because those are both 6 digit numbers; but they are entirely separate. Most people have still not set up this PIN number – the Two Step Verification” setting can be accused Under the settings-account from within the app. It takes less than a minute to set up. The PIN is for you to select and even has an option of a backup email address. WhatsApp when you change phones and also every so often when you’re using the app, that’s how secure it is. As WhatsApp explains, “when you two step verification enabled any attempt to verify phone number on WhatsApp must be accompanied by the six digit number pin that you created using this feature.” In other words, the hack will not work. I think whatsapp needs to be better advertised. WhatsApp is secured encrypted, but there is no way for the platform to secure the users that don’t but at their own app. Also, I suggest that if you have been victim of this hack, reinstall WhatsApp and ask for a fresh activation code. That will reset the app on your phone. It may take some time to work. Reports have been made regarding the fact that users were not sble to easily restore Hijacked account, although it is just a matter of a few seconds. Once, your account is restored, set up a PIN right away. That way, you will not be harmed twice.