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WhatsApp hack that hijacks your account is back: Here’s what you need to do

A 2018 WhatsApp hack that hijacks accounts is back.
A 2018 WhatsApp hack that hijacks accounts is back. (REUTERS)

This WhatsApp hack that hijacks accounts by asking for the verification code is back. Here’s what users need to do to keep their WhatsApp account secure.

WhatsApp, and other communication apps, are currently seeing a high surge in usage due to the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown. WhatsApp in fact is the most popular with over 40% increase in usage. This also makes the app vulnerable to hacks and scams, and there's actually one which has made a comeback on WhatsApp.

This WhatsApp hack can easily trick people into falling for it as it uses the victim's friend or acquaintance for it. What it essentially does is the hacker will use an already hacked account to contact the victim's friends. The victim will receive a message saying that their friend (hacker) is having issues with their WhatsApp verification code so it has been sent to them instead. When the victim sends the verification back to their friend, it's actually going to the hacker. This way the hacker gets control over the victim's WhatsApp account.

The hacker then uses this opportunity to ask for ransom money in exchange of releasing that WhatsApp account. Many WhatsApp users might fall prey to this hack easily since it's coming from someone they trust. Also, this message can be sent via Facebook as well. It doesn't necessarily have to be from WhatsApp. If you've received any such message, don't send the verification code.

But to stay clear of such WhatsApp hacks here's what you need to do.

Set up a two-factor authentication for your WhatsApp account.

Open the settings menu, then select account > two-step verification > enable.

Here, you'll have to set a six-digit PIN.

You can also add a backup email address.

Whenever you try to set up your WhatsApp account on a new phone, this PIN will be required.

It's an additional PIN along with the verification code that's sent via SMS.

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