Of late, if you have received text messages from your friends which direct you to visit WhatsApp’s website, remember not to fall for it. The link could potentially harm your device as it has been identified as an adware circulating across the internet. The web link spread in the message takes you to ‘ .com’ instead of the official WhatsApp web portal. Also Read - WhatsApp removes this feature for Android, iOS users: Know detailsAlso Read - WhatsApp multi-device support available for Android, iOS users: How to enable the setting
Apparently, the web link attracts users offering them to install WhatsApp in differently themed color. The URLs ‘ .com’ and ‘whatsapp.com’ look the same, might as well look the same but they are different from each other. Once you visit the faux link, you re asked to share the website with your other contacts in the list for verification’. Upon this, the contact you share the link with receives a message that says, ‘I love the new color for WhatsApp’ and asks them to follow the link to do the same. Also Read - How to send disappearing photos and videos on WhatsApp in a few simple steps
Falling prey to this, you will be verified. Next, comes another message saying that the different color options on Whatsapp are only available on the web version of it. Thus its requires you to be on a desktop and install a Chrome extension which is named as BlackWhats. Do not install the extension, if you do not want to put your system at any risk. ALSO READ: WannaCry Ransomware attack: This is a red alert for the millions of Windows XP users!
This was first spotted by a Reddit user account u/yuexist. TheNextWeb reported the malicious Chrome extension to Google which has now removed it from the Chrome app store. Though halted as of now, one should be careful while opening web link received in messaging app as well as email. We all are aware of the ‘Wannacry‘ ransomware that has put a large number of computer systems at risk all around the globe over the last weekend.
Bottomline: Do not open any suspicious links, file, download attachments or emails received from unknown sources. Always double check before following a web URL.