New fake WhatsApp Business App discovered on Google Play Store

A Backdoor Allows Hackers to Access Encrypted WhatsApp Messages

Fake and malicious applications have always roamed the various available applications in the world. Most of the times, rogue apps always have a virus on them and try to convince people into thinking that they are legit. This is the same thing that a new fake application on the Google Play Store, called WhatsApp Business, has been trying to do. The malicious application has unfortunately been downloaded 5,000 times from the Google Play Store.

The malicious app was first detected on the Google Play Store by the WhatsApp tracking website called WABetaInfo. According to the tracking website, the rogue Android app was developed by one developer named, Whasp. Business Inc. Apparently, the developer has three more software pieces uploaded onto the Play Store. The three other versions of malicious apps by the developer are for the games Temple Run 2, which inauspiciously is listed under the name, “HASAZKGIUSAZ”. The other app includes the game version of Kodi. From research, it was discovered that all the apps had been planted onto the Play Store in October 2017.

After being made out, the software which was listed as WhatsApp Business then decided to change its name to Update WhatsApp. As a result, many of the users who had been unfortunately duped into downloading the malicious app, have been complaining. Other users have also been complaining about problems logging into their accounts.

After discovering the malicious app, the WhatsApp tracking website, WABetaInfo wrote on their social media accounts warning users not to download the fake app as the WhatsApp Business app has not been made publicly available yet. The social media account also encouraged its 30,000 followers to stop downloading anything from WhatsApp if they had not seen official communication from WhatsApp itself.

According to the research, the malicious app asked for some invasive mobile permissions. The app asked for permission to receive data from the internet, view some network connections and have full network access. The app also asked for permission to prevent the device from sleeping and also control the vibration of the phone. Statistically, the malicious app had been posted onto the Google Play Store on the 16th of October, and from that time up-to-now there had been 1000 to 5000 installs. As of now, the application is unfortunately still available for download.

For all Google Play users, it is advised to not download the application because WhatsApp Business is yet to launch on the store. The WhatsApp Business application is believed to help businesses to be able to have a business presence on WhatsApp. This would go a long way to help with the communication for customers and in turn, helps grow the business. Users on the new app would be able to create business profiles through which they could use to stay in contact with potential customers. This would, therefore, expand the social network features of the WhatsApp service.