INSTANT MESSAGING APPLICATION Whatsapp has been targeted by scammers with not one but two malware ridden treats.
Facebook users have been targeted with an ad offering an app for continuing your conversation at your desk. Sadly, there are no desktop options for Whatsapp users and the scam guides you to join a group that then has access to your friends list, as well as posting spam on your behalf.
Fortunately, the spelling and grammar of the advert for the malware are so utterly dreadful that we can't imagine anyone actually falling for it.
Meanwhile, on the real Whatsapp, users have been facing the first signs of spamming as a result of the addition of voice messaging to the service last month. According to Trend Micro, Victims have been receiving an email alerting them to a new voicemail. However, clicking on the link takes them to a malicious link, specifically tailored for the platform they are using.
Desktop users have little to fear, as the resulting file download is a .jar file that won't affect anything. The main targets are, as ever, Android users, who are warned that they need to update their web browser. If you're not on the ball and haven't worked out that this is not normal and install the ensuing .apk, you'll be asked to agree to some terms and conditions.
If you still haven't twigged by this point then the trouble really starts, as the app will begin texting a series of premium numbers before downloading another malicious app that begins harvesting your data.
iPhone users need not fear, unless they are jailbroken, and for the vast majority of us who can smell something fishy when a dead halibut is waved under our noses it should be a case of simply hitting the good old delete button when the Whatsapp phishing email arrives.
That said, the continuing popularity of scams like this coupled with the rise in messaging apps means that these stories are set to run and run, because clearly people keep falling for the scams.
With the launch of BBM for iOS and Android still rumoured to be imminent, there could be a whole new playground for underhanded cyber-criminals on the way. µ