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Sunday, June 26, 2022

Warning over Whatsapp scam that lets cybercriminals take over your account

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CYBERSECURITY experts are warning Whatsapp users about a new scam that could be used by cybercriminals to take over your account.

The scam is used by hackers to circumvent the messaging app’s security features in order to gain access to a Whatsapp account without being detected by the user.

WhatsApp users are being alerted to a new cybersecurity scam that can relinquish control of the messaging app to a hacker

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WhatsApp users are being alerted to a new cybersecurity scam that can relinquish control of the messaging app to a hackerCredit: AFP

This latest security vulnerability was uncovered by cybersecurity forecast company CloudSEk’s founder Rahul Sasi, according to a Facebook post from the tech executive reported by the Times of India

To carry out the scam, hackers call a WhatsApp user and prompt them to dial another number. 

The number they are prompted to dial is to a service request line for the user’s mobile service provider that triggers a call forwarding feature. 

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In that process, the user is duped into inadvertently forwarding their calls to the hacker’s number.

According to Sasi, once a WhatsApp user falls for the call forwarding swindle, it’s “game over.”

Upon dialing the number the user is automatically logged out from WhatsApp.

Once the user is logged out, control over their account is completely relinquished to the cybercriminal. 

This occurs because with the call forwarding feature in place, the hacker is able to direct WhatsApp registration steps to their own phone.

Once the WhatsApp registration options are received by the hacker, they are able to commandeer control of the person’s WhatsApp account.

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“The same trick can be used to hack anyone’s Whatsapp account if the attacker has physical access to your phone and has permission to make a call,” Sasi writes in the Facebook post.

“Every country and service provider has a similar service request number, so this trick works globally.”

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