WhatsApp warns users about the latest hack

It looks like there are recent attempts to steal accounts that belong to WhatsApp users. WhatsApp warns users about the latest hack in attempts to steal and hijack their accounts. The messaging platform advises them to beware of spam messages that are being used as the gateway to access their accounts.

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WhatsApp warns users about the latest hack in attempts to steal accounts

A number of WhatsApp users have reported receiving messages about renewing their accounts. WhatsApp users are being asked to send 6-digit codes for verification. Through its social media handle on Twitter @WABetaInfo, WhatsApp warns users about the latest hack saying it has not sent out any messages about renewing accounts to any of its users. However, the popular platform maintains that WhatsApp and WhatsApp support will never ask users for these codes and has urged them to be cautious.

WhatsApp has asked its users to block and report any accounts that ask for 6-digit codes.

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How the hack works

According to Forbes, it relies on social engineering and user security complacency. Despite sending its messages over any internet bearer, WhatsApp is still linked to your phone. Your phone number is your unique identifier and the app can only be on one device at a time, even though its web access platform provides a window onto that device.

When a user changes their phone or reinstalls the app, WhatsApp needs to verify that the new device is linked to the user’s phone number. This is done through a verification SMS with a six-digit code. Once the user taps in the right code, the new installation of WhatsApp is enabled and all messages sent to that user will come to that device.

However, what was actually intended as a security strength is actually a surprise weakness and loophole for hackers. WhatsApp doesn’t check the phone number on the device itself, relying on that SMS. And so, if an attacker knows your number and can get your verification code, they can hijack your account and install your WhatsApp on their device, even though their device has a different phone number to your own.

WhatsApp warns users about the latest hack through a message that reads, “Prove that you’re a human by sending the code you’ve just received or your account will be disabled tomorrow” has popped up on some people’s phones. This is what has been described as the latest attempt to steal people’s accounts.

Users have been urged to be careful and enable the two-step verification in WhatsApp Settings. To enable the two-step verification, follow these steps.

Go to Settings > Account > then choose Two-step verification.

Enabling the two-step verification will provide added security as one will require a PIN when registering their number with WhatsApp again. WhatsApp recommends this in order for people to keep their accounts safe.

In the event that a user responds to these unofficial accounts, WhatsApp warns users about the latest hack saying that account will be hijacked and used to commit fraud against those in their contact list.

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