Stolen accounts on WhatsApp, what’s happening

Some hackers are trying to steal users' WhatsApp account to use it for illicit purposes. Here's how to defend yourself

When you register an account on WhatsApp, the application asks for a verification code to confirm the person's identity. The code is sent via SMS and is tied to the phone number. An authentication method that WhatsApp also shares with other messaging systems and is considered quite secure. At least so far. With a message on its Facebook account, the State Police has raised the alarm: some hackers are able to take possession of the WhatsApp profile of other users by making them send via message the confirmation code.

A scam to perfection that is reaping several victims in recent days and that has targeted messaging applications such as WhatsApp and Telegram. Hackers manage to convince users to get the verification code sent via SMS and steal their account. A strategy, the one deployed by hackers, which exploits social engineering and the unfamiliarity of people with the world of technology.

WhatsApp, scam in progress

In the post published on social networks, the State Police explained how the scam happens. Hackers contact a person by message, making the sender appear a number in the address book. At this point, through pressing messages, they convince him to send via SMS the verification code of WhatsApp (or any other platform that uses this authentication method) that arrives on his smartphone. In reality, by sending the hacker this code we are giving him the opportunity to take possession of our account, effectively losing access. In this way, hackers manage to steal WhatsApp profiles and use them for illicit practices.

How to defend against WhatsApp account theft

The State Police also provides tips on how to defend against this type of scams. First of all, you should not share the verification code of WhatsApp and any other application with anyone. It is a personal data that must remain secret. If you are contacted by people who seem to be your friends, call them on the phone to be sure.

Also, if you receive any SMS from the same sender, do not click on any link: they could be traps created ad hoc. Finally, to protect your WhatsApp account, enable two-factor authentication.