Fake WhatsApp update downloaded by 1 million Android users

Cybersecurity researchers have discovered an app that disguised itself as a WhatsApp update to install adware on devices

More than a million Android users have been duped in the last period by a new cyber scam. People have been duped by a malicious app disguised as a WhatsApp update. The accused app is called WhatsApp Update and is still present in the Google Play Store.

Cyber security researchers have been reporting the malicious program for quite some time now but recently the developers of the fraud changed the name of the app to Dual Whatsweb Update and changed the representative icon of the service. Prior to this change the malicious app misled over a million users. People on the Google Play Store read the words Update WhatsApp and convinced they were downloading the latest version of the service gave the green light to download, but by doing so they installed a bunch of malware on their device.

How the scam works

Any adware has been placed inside the fake WhatsApp update so that the cyber criminals behind the scam can make money from the traffic generated by the ads. There are plenty of fake apps similar to Update WhatsApp on the Play Store. Recently cybersecurity researchers reported a fake Facebook Messenger update that scammed users in the same way as Update WhatsApp. To be honest on the Google Play Store the threats present are much more dangerous than these fake apps. To get rid of these problems almost always just delete the app. But on the Play Store there are also banking trojans and ransomware disguised as official programs.

How to defend yourself

To defend against this cyber threat the advice is always the same. First, let's remember that to update an already installed application we don't have to download a new program. To update WhatsApp, to make a practical example, just go to the Play Store in the My Apps page and from the list select WhatsApp. Once the program's page opens we'll read two entries at the top, Uninstall and Update. Click on the second one and you're done. We then avoid downloading programs from unofficial and unreliable developers and before installing any service we scan it with a mobile security software.