WhatsApp is undoubtedly one of the popular messaging platforms, which is used by over 1.5 billion monthly active users worldwide. The app is so popular that if you make a search for the app in Google Play store, several other instances and fake counterparts appear. One such fake app with a similar moniker is WhatsApp Plus, which is quite popular amongst the users. A lot of people even use it, mistaking it for the original version due to great similarities between the two. While the app is in use for quite a while, the users must delete this app as a new report points out that this app is illicitly sharing the users’ data and replaces it with malware.
According to a report by Malwarebytes, this fake version of WhatsApp is floating around the Internet with malicious intentions to take the control over users’ data. This app is not available on Google Play store, however, the APK file of the app is in circulation among the potential users who fall for it and download it on their phones. WhatsApp Plus has been classified as a rogue app that is also a variant of a malware identified as Android/PUP.Riskware.Wtaspin.GB.
Upon installing WhatsApp Plus, the app prompts a screen with a gold WhatsApp logo in the centre with a URL and handle. If you tap on ‘Agree and continue’, the app will redirect you to update it with a newer version of the application. Once you tend to do that, the fake WhatsApp diverts you to an unsafe website where the text is written in Arabic. The website lets you download an app having a ridiculous name – ‘Watts Plus Plus WhatsApp’.
As mentioned in the Malwarebytes Lab report, the malicious app packs questionable features such as hiding typing a message, received texts, reading texts. The app even lets you hide the notification if you have played a voice clip. Malwarebytes Lab was unable to reveal how the app works and gathers data.
The report further informs this particular app is a fake one and urges people to download the WhatsApp from official Google Play store. If you happen to use the application, then uninstall it and use the version that is available on Google Play Store only.