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Beware! Your WhatsApp account can be hacked easily; here’s how this cybcercrime works

WhatsApp scam: Hackers can gain control of users' WhatsApp accounts and photo gallery and more through a simple phone call.

By: HIMANI JHA
Updated on: Aug 22 2022, 12:57 IST
How hackers are targeting WhatsApp users (REUTERS)

Beware! Hackers can hijack your WhatsApp account and get access to personal messages and contact list too. Hackers reportedly use mobile phone carriers’ automated service to forward calls to a different phone number, and WhatsApp’s option to send a one-time password (OTP) verification code via voice call to get access to your personal details. Security researchers at CloudSEk have detected a new scam that enables hackers to gain control of WhatsApp users’ accounts via a simple phone call. Hackers call targets and ask them to call on numbers starting with ’67’ or ‘405’. Once the call is made, the users are logged out of their WhatsApp accounts as hackers gain complete control of their accounts within seconds.

How does the WhatsApp hack work

As reported by CloudSEK, the hackers send a number that resembles service requests for various telecom operators for ‘call forwarding’ when their number is busy or engaged. Once the call is sent, hackers forward victims’ calls to their number. In the mean time, the hackers start the WhatsApp registration process and choose “the option to send OTP via a phone call” and while the user is busy, the OTP is sent to the attacker’s phone. Hackers convince users to make a call to the number **67*<10 digit number> or *405*<10 digit number>. Also Read: Delete these apps from your phone now! Google has banned them from Play Store over Joker threat

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The security researcher further shared that this trick can also be used to hack anyone’s WhatsApp account if a hacker has physical access to their phone and has permissions to make calls. “Every country and service provider has a similar service request number, so this trick works globally,” he added. Also Read: How to avoid ransomware attacks? Check out these easy tips that are tough to foil

How to protect yourself from WhatsApp scam

The best and the easiest way to protect yourself from a WatsApp hacker is by not responding to calls from unknown numbers or making calls to unknown numbers. Also ensure that the numbers are not spammed. And most of all, make sure you do not leave your phone lying around where others can pick up.

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First Published Date: 04 Jun, 10:00 IST
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