Hackers using WhatsApp message to target victims

A new scam is making the rounds as a WhatsApp message trying to trick unsuspecting victims into clicking on a link offering free Internet access for smartphone users.

WhatsApp_Logo_8The Information and Communications Technology Authority warned the public recently about the scam. ICTA, on its website, writes that the message reads: “Now, You can do WhatsApp Without Internet From Today. WhatsApp launches Ultra-Light Wifi Feature to Enjoy Free 3G Internet wherever you go for whatsapp application, Click On Below Link to Activate Now – http://free-wifi-for-whatsapp.ay3.co/.”

ICTA warns users not to click on the link.

“This is a scam,” the telecom authority notes in the alert.

The message, sent to some WhatApp users, is similar to an email phishing scam. Hackers use enticing messages to get victims to click on the link or download a file. Once someone clicks on it, the website can download and install malicious software to a user’s phone or computer, giving hackers the ability to record keystrokes and steal passwords and account numbers.

WhatsApp, which now boasts more than a billion users around the world, is a common target for email scams. In January computer security researchers with Comodo Labs warned of a new campaign targeting Whatsapp users with emails saying the recipient has a voice message or video to download from WhatsApp.

Instead of an audio message from a friend, the researchers say, the user downloads malware that installs automatically on the computer.

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