WhatsApp has warned its billions of users about a nasty app for Android. In a thread on Twitter, WhatsApp boss Will Cathcart warned users about a malware-filled Android application called Hey WhatsApp, made by a developer called HeyMods. Cathcart said that this app, which may seem harmless at first glance, is designed to steal sensitive personal information stored on Android phones.
The apps were found outside of the Google Play Store, but fortunately, Google Play Protect can now detect and disable these malicious, fake versions of WhatsApp.
This comes after Google and WhatsApp have teamed up to work together to stop this dangerous software.
Suffice to say, if you have HeyWhatsApp malicious app on your phone, make sure to delete it today.
And if you have a legitimate free antivirus app on your phone, run a scan to check if additional malware has been loaded onto your device.
Speaking of the threat, Cathcart said: “Reminding @WhatsApp users that downloading fake or modified version of WhatsApp is never a good idea. These apps sound harmless, but they can bypass WhatsApp’s privacy and security guarantees.
“Recently, our security team discovered hidden malware in apps – served outside of Google Play – by a developer called HeyMods, which included “Hey WhatsApp” and others.
“These apps promised new features but were just a scam to steal personal information stored on people’s phones. We have shared our findings with Google and collaborated with them to combat the malicious apps.
“Google Play Protect on Android can now detect and disable previously downloaded malicious fake versions of WhatsApp. We appreciate Google’s help for their ongoing work to prevent malicious apps from spreading on Android devices.”
Cathcart said WhatsApp will continue to work on blocking these types of apps from Android devices in the future.
While the head of WhatsApp at Meta also said that legal action is being considered to hold HeyMods and developers who create malicious WhatsApp apps accountable.
Cathcart also urged WhatsApp users who see someone they know using a fake version of the chat app to download the official version.
You can download the official version of WhatsApp for iOS, Android, Mac or PC by clicking here.