Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s messaging app WhatsApp is the center of a vicious data breach in India, hackers having upped their game as the race for people’s bank details heats up. It has emerged that hackers are sending people malware in the form of Microsoft Excel files, which once opened, can gather highly sensitive information from unsuspecting users.
WhatsApp India Scam
The fraud has so far been rampant in India as most of the files are disguised as coming from official government organizations. The virus reportedly allows the hackers to steal banking credentials such as Pin codes, among other personal information that might be stored in a handset.
While the fraud has so far been limited to WhatsApp user in India there is no denying that the hackers can tweak the fraud to target users in other countries. So far, the hackers have sent unknowing user’s two files dubbed ‘’NDA-ranked-8th-toughest-College-in-the-world-to-get-into.xls’ and ‘NIA-selection-order-.xls’ while reiterating they came from the Indian National Defense Academy.
There are reports that the hackers might have been targeting military and paramilitary personnel, the officers having been warned about the same. It has also emerged that the cons might specifically be targeting Android users given that the code on the malware is known to typically work on the OS.
Facebook is yet to issue a response to the malware on its messaging app. Given that such swindles are very popular, the best way to stay clear of such is to avoid clicking on dubious links. Users are also being advised to stick to applications downloaded from official app stores as one of the ways of avoiding such malware.
This is not the first time that hackers have taken to WhatsApp all in the effort of stealing crucial information from unsuspecting users. Last year, users in the U.K were warned of a scam that claimed to offer vouchers of up to €100 from supermarket firm Sainsbury’s.
While the Facebook-owned app is fresh from being praised as one of the most secure messaging platforms by Amnesty International, it appears it is not immune to hack attacks.