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CYBER-EXPERTS have issued an important warning to all WhatsApp users.
A cleverly simple hacking trick could give crooks total access to your WhatsApp.
It would allow them to send and receive texts as if they were you – and potentially scam your friends and family.
And it all depends on you being asleep.
The trick was first spotted by security researcher Zak Avraham, of zecOps.
And cybersecurity experts at Malwarebytes Labs have since issued their own warning.
“The recent WhatsApp accounts takeover is simple and genius,” Zuk explained.
“This is how it works: You’re sleeping. A ‘hacker’ tries to log in to your account via WhatsApp.
“You get a text message with a pinched that says ‘Do not share this’.
“You don’t share it, yet you still get hacked.”
It sounds nefarious and impossible – but experts say it’s not only possible, but fairly simple to execute.
Hackers take advantage of two mistakes using methods that we won’t detail – although we reveal how to stay safe below.
Once a hacker gains access to your account, they can set up a two-factor authentication PIN to prevent you from getting your account back.
“Once the account has been hijacked, the attacker could use it to hijack accounts of the user’s contacts, spread malware, or hold the account hostage until the owner pays up to get it back,” Malwarebytes Labs warns.
How to prevent this attack
One simple solution is to make sure you’re using the best voicemail protections on your phone account – and not just default options.
But you can also prevent the attack by simply setting up two-factor authentication on your WhatsApp.
This is very easy to do, and prevents a number of common WhatsApp takeover tricks.
To set it up, launch WhatsApp then go to Settings > Account > Two-Step Verification.
You can then turn it on and set up your own personal PIN for the app.
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