WhatsApp, a Meta-owned instant messaging service, has advised users against downloading phoney copies of the app, claiming that doing so might jeopardise users’ security.
Will Cathcart, the Head of WhatsApp, disclosed on Twitter that the company’s security team discovered a fraudulent version of WhatsApp outside of Google Play that was providing additional features to customers.
“Recently, our security team uncovered concealed malware inside applications — provided outside of Google Play — from a developer named “HeyMods,” which includes “Hey WhatsApp” and others,” he said in a tweet.
Recently our security team discovered hidden malware within apps – offered outside of Google Play – from a developer called “HeyMods” that included “Hey WhatsApp” and others.
— Will Cathcart (@wcathcart) July 11, 2022
Will Cathcart informed customers that such bogus versions were a fraud designed to steal personal information from people’s phones, adding that the “business is taking steps against HeyMods to prevent future damage and will further explore litigation to hold HeyMods and others like them responsible.”
With the current security concern in mind, WhatsApp’s CEO recommended users to only download WhatsApp from a reputable app store.