During this year , the arrival of the pandemic led people to carry out activities online or through internet platforms. These modifications brought with themselves new scams and that is why you must be careful and cautious against cyberattacks.
Among the many cyber crimes, a new one emerged recently that is produced through a mechanism that the WhatsApp instant messaging app has when a user changes their mobile phone and wants to transfer their account.
According to the warnings issued by the cybersecurity company Check Point, a new type of cyberattack detected in recent weeks is being alerted that robs victims of their WhatsApp account, taking advantage of the trust they have in their contacts.
When a person changes their phone and wants to transfer their WhatsApp account, the technology company sends an SMS authentication to the previous phone number so that it can be entered. The process lets you modify the instant messaging application from one number to another. However, it also opens the door for the cybercriminal to access the victim’s account.
“The first thing to know about this cyber attack is that the main asset for the cybercriminal is to take advantage of the victim’s trust. It is for this reason that the way to carry out this attack is based on the fact that, previously, this cybercriminal has managed to attack one of the victim’s contacts in a matter of stealing all the phone numbers he had, ”says the director. Check Point technician for Spain and Portugal, Eusebio Nieva.
That said, it is in this way that cybercriminals use the phone number to write to WhatsApp and request the SMS code for authentication. Later, pretending to be a known contact, they communicate with the victim requesting the code, arguing that they have made a mistake when sending it.
It should be noted that account recovery is not easy. “The only way would be by talking to WhatsApp to inform them of the theft of the account and for them to automatically cancel said account with that phone number,” says the specialist.
How can I protect my account?
To prevent this kind of attack “the most important thing is that when a person receives an SMS they read it carefully ,” says the expert. In the same way, it is essential to be very careful with the codes that are sent and be aware that one should never send a code that you receive to anyone.
Recommendations to prevent being a victim of hackers on WhatsApp:
- Specialists advise not to open your account on shared computers and frequently check on which devices WhatsApp Web sessions are started.
- The application never asks users for information through calls, WhatsApp messages or text messages.
- When you need to receive a verification code, avoid sharing it with more people.
- Whenever they send you text messages from unknown numbers, better block them without replying or giving personal information.