WhatsApp under attack and you must be aware of this growing risk

WhatsApp under attack and you must be aware of this growing risk. A recent report from the team at Vade Secure has notice a growing trend in the number of phishing attacks. In fact, WhatsApp has seen a 13,467.6 percent surge in this type of online assault.

WhatsApp is by far the biggest chat app on the planet with the Facebook-owned service recently announcing it has over 2 billion users worldwide. That’s an impressive statistic but with so many people sending messages every day it seems WhatsApp has become a major target for cybercriminals.

Phishing is a type of attack that is often used to steal data from an unsuspecting user. These scams can lead to things such as login credentials and credit card numbers being stolen and usually occur when a victim is tricked into opening a malicious link disguised in an email or text message.

This huge growth in attacks now makes WhatsApp the 5th most impersonated brand in the world with it rising 63 places in the final part of 2019.

In a post on its blog, Vade Secure said: “Digging into WhatsApp, the staggering growth in phishing URLs stems primarily from a campaign inviting recipients to the so-called Berbagi WhatsApp group, which advertises pornographic content.

“Moreover, it appears web hosting provider 000webhost was hacked and used to host the phishing pages.” Along with WhatsApp, other firms being targeted in these scams include PayPal, Facebook, Microsoft and Netflix.

If you are concerned about these types of online attacks then the UK’s National Cyber Security Center has some good advice for consumers. Here’s their top tips for avoiding phishing scams online.

• Many phishing scams originate overseas and often the spelling, grammar and punctuation are poor. Others will try and create official-looking emails by including logos and graphics. Is the design (and quality) what would you’d expect from a large organisation?

• Is it addressed to you by name, or does it refer to ‘valued customer’, or ‘friend’, or ‘colleague’? This can be a sign that the sender does not actually know you, and that it is part of a phishing scam. • Does the email contain a veiled threat that asks you to act urgently? Be suspicious of words like ‘send these details within 24 hours’ or ‘you have been a victim of crime, click here immediately’.

• Look out for emails that appear to come from a high-ranking person within your organisation, requesting a payment is made to a particular bank account. Look at the sender’s name. Does it sound legitimate, or is it trying to mimic someone you know?

• If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. It’s most unlikely that someone will want to give you money, or give you access to some secret part of the Internet.

Source – Express UK

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