A new malware link disguised as a custom WhatsApp theme is making the rounds on WhatsApp group chats. Dubbed as WhatsApp Pink, the malware link claims to change your WhatsApp theme from the original green to pink. However, according to top cybersecurity experts, it’s a virus that allows cybercriminals to hack and take control of your phone. The virus may also take control of your WhatsApp account, and you won’t be able to access it.
What is WhatsApp Pink scam?
To warn WhatsApp users, independent cybersecurity expert Rajshekhar Rajaharia wrote in a tweeted the following message:
This dangerous WhatsApp Pink virus is different from the WhatsApp flaw that was discovered a week back. The flaw only allowed nefarious entities to suspend a user’s WhatsApp account. However, the virus not only restricts users from accessing their WhatsApp account but also gives hackers access to their phone.
Once a user clicks on the link, it takes them to an APK download page. The APK is disguised as an official WhatsApp update, so users might not know that it’s a modified APK that contains the virus. If a user installs the APK, they give hackers access to their phone. There’s a chance that just clicking the link does not download the virus on your phone. So, if you have already clicked on the link but have not downloaded and installed the APK, you might still be safe. If you have not received the WhatsApp Pink message yet, we advise you not to click on the link.
“Do not click on the WhatsApp Pink link and install the APK file. It will load a virus on your phone that will give hackers access to your device.”
WhatsApp has released its official statement on the matter. In a response given to PTI, a WhatsApp spokesperson said,
“Anyone can get an unusual, uncharacteristic or suspicious message on any service, including email, 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.”
As much we have berated WhatsApp for its shady practices in the past, this response is genuine. We as users have to take responsibility for such attacks as anyone can send a malware-laced link to us. It’s up to us to judiciously decide whether to click on them or not. The easiest way to avoid such attacks is to never install popular apps from outside Google Play Store. So, beware of the WhatsApp Pink link and any such attempts in the future and protect your online privacy.