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WhatsApp users warned to protect against account theft

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Recently, cybersecurity experts at Kaspersky have identified a worrying increase in cases of WhatsApp account theft. This mechanism, which has received attention in the technology community, involves social engineering tactics to gain unauthorised access to user accounts.

The account theft process begins with obtaining the victim’s phone number from leaked databases or the Internet. Cybercriminals then try to install the WhatsApp application on a new device by entering the victim’s phone number. That’s when WhatsApp sends a verification code via SMS to the user’s phone number as a security measure, and the scammers request this six-digit code from the victim with some excuse.

Once they obtain the verification code, they manage to access the victim’s WhatsApp account. With this compromised account, scammers use various tactics to trick the victim’s contacts, requesting money transfers through identity theft.

In many cases, attackers use AI-based tools to impersonate the victim’s voice in text and audio messages, increasing the credibility of their urgent money transfer requests through services like Bizum. Likewise, scammers can also obtain financial benefits by selling stolen WhatsApp accounts on the dark web.

To avoid becoming a victim of these attacks, Kaspersky experts recommend not responding to suspicious messages and activating two-step verification or two-factor authentication (2FA) on WhatsApp. This additional security measure requires an additional six-digit code to access the instant messaging application, making account theft attempts much more difficult.

To set up go to Setting, Account, Two-step verification in your WhatsApp account. You will then need to complete the security settings in order to secure your account in the future.

“There are many users who use WhatsApp to communicate with others. And, with the increasing sophistication of online scams based on Artificial Intelligence, it becomes crucial that they are aware of these risks and take proactive measures to protect their personal information and accounts,” says Marc Rivero, Lead Security Researcher at Kaspersky.

The post WhatsApp users warned to protect against account theft appeared first on Spain Today – Breaking Spanish News, Sport, and Information.

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