1 million users downloaded fake WhatsApp

App tried to get users to install another dodgy programme.

London: A fake version of WhatsApp has been downloaded more than one million times from the Google Play Store, it has been reported. The ‘Update WhatsApp Messenger’ app appears to have been developed by the real makers of WhatsApp. The Google Play Store page for the app claimed it had been developed by “WhatsApp Inc.”

According to Hacker News, whoever was behind the fake app used a clever trick to make it look authentic by adding an invisible unicode character space to the end of the name, which in computer code reads “WhatsApp+Inc ”. The space with a special character is almost invisible.

The fake app bombarded users with ads and tried to get them to install another dodgy programme, according to the Independent. Play Store has removed the app. A Reddit user who first spotted it said it used the official WhatsApp logo and had a high user rating of 4.2 stars.

The Reddit user who downloaded the app said, “The app itself has minimal permissions but it's basically an ad-loaded wrapper which has some code to download a second apk, also called ‘whatsapp.apk’. The app also tries to hide itself by not having a title and having a blank icon.”

In 2015, Google had to step in and block one programme that disguised itself as a battery monitor and sent premium-rate text messages from people’s phones. Last week, another fake WhatsApp app made it onto Google Play, masquerading as the upcoming Business app.

( Source : Agencies )
Next Story