CHENNAI: Got a text with a link to change your Whatsapp theme to pink? Do not click it. All you need to do is to delete the message immediately, say police and cyber security experts, warning about the recent scam by fraudsters to gain full access to mobile phones.
About four days ago, cyber security researcher Rajsekhar Rajaharia from Delhi took to Twitter and alerted the public about a new cyber threat. He tweeted, “Beware of Whatsapp Pink!! A virus is being spread in WhatsApp groups with an Android Application Package (APK) download link. Don’t click any link with the name of WhatsApp Pink. Complete access to your phone will be lost. Share with all..”
When contacted, Rajaharia told Express, “Whatsapp Pink is a new trap set by fraudsters where a URL link with malware informs that users can change the standard green typeface and background of WhatsApp to pink. The URL, once clicked, will lead the victim to a website and an APK file of the application is downloaded to the phone,” says Rajaharia.
Once downloaded, the app seeks permission to send notifications, access contacts and so on, and one cannot even skip those options. Once given permissions, the ‘Whatsapp Pink’ app’s icon disappears from the mobile screen.
V Vikraman, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Adyar, said that the fake application does not change the theme and instead provides the device’s access to fraudsters. “Meanwhile, within seconds after installing the app, a similar message is sent to all the contacts in the phone. Users new to the digital world might fall prey to it,” said Vikraman.
A statement issued by Whatsapp, and carried by news agencies, said: “Anyone can get an unusual, uncharacteristic or suspicious message on any service, including e-mail, and anytime that happens, we strongly encourage everyone to use caution before responding or engaging. On WhatsApp, in particular, we also recommend that people use the tools that we provide within the app to send us a report, report a contact or block contact.”
HOW TO UNINSTALL?
Here are the steps to follow if a person has already installed WhatsApp Pink
To uninstall — Go to Settings —> Go to Storage or Apps (depends on the phone’s model). You can see the list of apps that are installed in your phone. Then, uninstall hidden apps
Once uninstalled, here are the steps to protect your device from the virus
Uninstall WhatsApp Pink immediately
Unlink all Whatsapp web devices
Clear browser cache from settings
Check permission for all apps
Revoke permissions if any of them are found to be suspicious