This week a fake Whatsapp application has popped up on Google’s Play store. Google came under scrutiny for allowing this app to garner over 1 million downloads and not being able to spot this malicious app.
Many, people expressed their frustration in the comment section of this fake app explaining how they were being bombarded by advertisements and were being redirected to various third-party websites.
Hackers can also take this opportunity to trick you into downloading malicious software and spy on you by uploading various malware on your device. Reportedly, over 500 apps on Google play store were found spying on its users.
The anonymous uploader first named the fake WhatsApp as “Update WhatsApp, ” but he later changed it to “Dual what web Update.” Google has however removed this app but has not yet given any official statement on this matter.
Interestingly, the app maker fooled Google Play store by adding an extra space in the name “WhatsApp Inc.” It may not be visible to average android users, but in computer code, it is pretty obvious, i.e., WhatsApp+Inc%C2%A0.
What is worrisome is that Google does not allow apps to imitate another brand’s title or logo, but in this scenario, the developer has bypassed Google’s security measures. However, Google is taking precautionary measures to prevent further malware attempts.
Last week, Pakistani Government warned that WhatsApp could leak sensitive data to third-party websites and Interior Ministry has issued extensive guideline to avoid data leakage. Also, earlier this year in March 2017 Wikileaks had confirmed that WhatsApp messages could be seen by a third party presumably, in this case, the CIA.