A new WhatsApp hack is going around that give hackers access to all of your messages, and do the same to your contacts, but if you know what to look out for, you should be fine.
The new hack uses phishing techniques but wrapped in a more sophisticated package, so it's easier to fly under the radar. It only requires the hacker to have access to an account that has you as a contact to target your account. This means that if one of your friends falls victim to the hack, you could be in danger too. Fortunately, there are ways to protect yourself.
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According to The Independent (opens in new tab), when the hackers have access to an account that has you as a contact, they will send you messages that will probably seem quite normal, as if they were coming from the person who owns the account. Sooner or later you will receive a text from WhatsApp with the six-digit authentication code that you need to input whenever you add a new device or make changes to your account. This is what the attackers are looking for.
The compromised account will then ask you to send them that six-digit code, saying they sent it to the wrong number by mistake. If you send them the code then the hackers have been successful and will have access to your account by turning it into a WhatsApp business account.
If they do get access to your account they will now be able to try and do the same thing to everyone on your contacts list. Meaning that the more accounts that fall victim to the hack, the more likely you are to be targeted. It also means they will have access to all of your messages and conversations.
The easy way to protect yourself from this hack is to never give out the six-digit code that is sent to you. This code should only ever be used by you when making changes to your account, and any code that is sent to your number should never be shared, regardless of who is asking. If a friend did somehow manage to send the code to your number, they could easily resend it to their number in seconds, so never believe them if they say otherwise.
You can also protect yourself by enabling two-factor authentication on your WhatsApp account, which will make it even harder for attackers to gain access to your messages. If you stay alert then you should be safe when using WhatsApp, and can enjoy all of the cool new features it has added recently.
Source: The Independent (opens in new tab)