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WhatsApp head Will Cathcart warns against downloading fake versions of the app

Cathcart said that modified or fake versions of WhatsApp contain dangerous malware

July 13, 2022 / 12:08 PM IST
Representative Image

Representative Image


WhatsApp head Will Cathcart took to Twitter to warn users against downloading fake or modified versions of the WhatsApp app. He said that while these apps may look harmless, they work around WhatsApp's privacy and security systems, putting users at risk.

Cathcart said that his team had discovered hidden malware within apps that can be downloaded outside of Google's Play Store from a developer called HeyMods.  This developer produces a series of knock-off apps and one among them is called Hey WhatsApp.

The apps promise new features not found in the official versions to lure people in, and then steal their personal information without them realizing it. Cathcart said that his team had alerted Google and updated them with the information they found.

He said that Google Play Store can now detect and block previously downloaded "malicious fake versions" of WhatsApp, and advised users to not stray far from Android's official app store.

Cathcart encouraged users to report any instances of friends or family members using malicious apps, and to encourage them to, "only use WhatsApp from a trusted app store" or the Meta-owned company's official website.

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"Mobile phone malware is a pernicious threat that must be countered and the security community continues to develop new ways to prevent it from spreading," Cathcart wrote in his tweet.

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first published: Jul 13, 2022 12:08 pm
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