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New worm for Android spreads rapidly via WhatsApp

ESET security researcher Lukas Stefanko reported a new malware: he said that a new worm for Android automatically spreads through WhatsApp messages.

The main purpose of malware is to trick users into adware or subscription scams.

The malware spreads through the victim’s WhatsApp app by automatic replies to any WhatsApp messages containing a link to the malicious Huawei Mobile app,Stefanko said.

The link to the fake Huawei Mobile app redirects users to a site that is very similar to the Google Play Store. Once installed on a device, a malicious application requests access to notifications, which it uses to carry out an attack. In particular, it is interested in the WhatsApp Quick Reply feature, which is used to reply to incoming messages directly from notifications.

In addition to reading notifications, the app also requests permissions to run in the background and draw on top of other apps – overlapping any other app running on the device with its own window, which can be used to steal credentials.

In its current version, the malicious code is only able to send automatic replies to the victim’s WhatsApp contacts, but in future versions, it may be possible to send replies in other applications that support the quick replies feature in Android.says Lukas Stefanko.

Although the message is sent to the same contact only once an hour, the message content and the link to the application are retrieved from a remote server, which means that malware can be used to spread other malicious sites and applications.

According to the researcher, it was not possible to establish how the initial infection occurs. It should be noted, however, that worm malware can spread incredibly quickly from multiple devices to many others via SMS, email, social media posts, channels/chat groups, etc.

It should also be noted that more than 30 million WhatsArp users have recently abandoned the messenger since the beginning of the year. This was reported by the British edition of The Guardian.

The ongoing massive leave of users from WhatsApp is associated with a poorly prepared update of the terms of service on this platform, journalists say. Many saw in them the upcoming cancellation of the confidentiality of correspondence, which is associated with the provision of data by the messenger to its parent company Facebook, whose management lost trust of the users.

As we said, Facebook gives US lawmakers the names of 52 firms it gave deep data access to.

As you know, initially, changes in the policy for providing WhatsApp services were supposed to take effect on February 8. However, due to the beginning of a rapid decline in the number of users, their introduction was postponed to 15 May.

Vladimir Krasnogolovy

Vladimir is a technical specialist who loves giving qualified advices and tips on GridinSoft's products. He's available 24/7 to assist you in any question regarding internet security.

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