Beware WhatsApp account hijacking in South Africa

Bradley Prior

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Beware WhatsApp account hijacking in South Africa

WhatsApp account hijackings are a constant risk to users, including South Africans who use the messaging app.

According to reports from a local IT industry player, he has seen a rise in WhatsApp attacks of late, based on feedback he has received from associates.
 

pinball wizard

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However, attackers use social engineering to convince the victim to send them the SMS verification code so they can hijack the WhatsApp account.

Can you elaborate on what that attack would look like, and how one would recognise and combat it?
 

r00igev@@r

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Why not just reinstall whatsapp again? That should kill the clone?
 

Ninja'd

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Excluding Whatsapp Web, can a Whatsapp account run simultaneously on 2 seperate devices?
 

ISP cash cow

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If you are concerned about falling victim to this attack, however, you can enable two-step verification (2FA) on your WhatsApp account to protect it.

how is this going to help?

If you are naive enough to give out your code that whatsapp sends you for verification due to "social engineering", you are probably going to be naive enough to give your pin as well.
 

PsyWulf

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Excluding Whatsapp Web, can a Whatsapp account run simultaneously on 2 seperate devices?
Haven't confirmed myself yet,but from my research theoretically if you clone the MAC address of the device when connecting and setting up,it'll alow the new device to connect without kicking the old one off. Requires the OTP to activate though
 

isie

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Excluding Whatsapp Web, can a Whatsapp account run simultaneously on 2 seperate devices?
no it cant - the other device will pop up an error saying it needs to be verified


Also as per the article

However, attackers use social engineering to convince the victim to send them the SMS verification code so they can hijack the WhatsApp account.

Social engineering is that like a nice way of saying taking advantage of idiots?
 

Slootvreter

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no it cant - the other device will pop up an error saying it needs to be verified


Also as per the article

However, attackers use social engineering to convince the victim to send them the SMS verification code so they can hijack the WhatsApp account.

Social engineering is that like a nice way of saying taking advantage of idiots?
Yeah, they make it sound so easy, but in essence you have to be bullschitted by a stranger into giving them your code. :ROFL:
 

chrisc

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I regularly use WhatsApp on a PC but the phone must be connected to the same wireless network

What amazes me are the large number of messages I receive from people not on my contacts list. All you seem to need is a person's mobile number and off you go

Today 34 messages from people I know, and 144 from strangers, offering loans, sex, companionship, business leads, sales leads, get rich quick schemes, and one from a national used car supplier

As I typed this, another 3 messages arrived. One from "Lead-a-car", one from "Letitia" and one from "Looters discount shop"
 

Swa

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I regularly use WhatsApp on a PC but the phone must be connected to the same wireless network

What amazes me are the large number of messages I receive from people not on my contacts list. All you seem to need is a person's mobile number and off you go

Today 34 messages from people I know, and 144 from strangers, offering loans, sex, companionship, business leads, sales leads, get rich quick schemes, and one from a national used car supplier

As I typed this, another 3 messages arrived. One from "Lead-a-car", one from "Letitia" and one from "Looters discount shop"
Did you take them up on it? Just make sure they pay you first.
 

Little Mac

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Can you elaborate on what that attack would look like, and how one would recognise and combat it?
I thought that was obvious - they convince someone to send the code to them through some fake story.

What's confused me though is this:

The IT industry player told MyBroadband that of the contacts who had their accounts hijacked, one was able to reclaim their number after mailing WhatsApp several times and explaining their situation.
If that happens, just uninstall and reinstall WA - it will register all over again on your phone and bump any attacker off theirs.
 

Little Mac

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I regularly use WhatsApp on a PC but the phone must be connected to the same wireless network
Not at all - you can use it from any internet connected PC, in fact this is one of the most common forms of attack - DNS spoofing - basically you connect to someone else's wifi - usually some freebie, and their DNS server redirects you to their fake web.whatsapp.com site which runs on their own system and you effectively scan a barcode for their PC which immediately gives them control over your WA. Not an easy thing to pull off but easy enough if you are determined.
 
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Little Mac

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Haven't confirmed myself yet,but from my research theoretically if you clone the MAC address of the device when connecting and setting up,it'll alow the new device to connect without kicking the old one off. Requires the OTP to activate though
Why would it be interested in the MAC address which is tied to your WiFi card? WA does not require WiFi to operate... Will check this out - MAC is easy to spoof.
 

Swa

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What's confused me though is this:


If that happens, just uninstall and reinstall WA - it will register all over again on your phone and bump any attacker off theirs.
Sounds fake. WA is intrinsically tied to your phone number so if you have your SIM you can get access. WA support probably told them to reinstall.
 

Slootvreter

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I regularly use WhatsApp on a PC but the phone must be connected to the same wireless network

What amazes me are the large number of messages I receive from people not on my contacts list. All you seem to need is a person's mobile number and off you go

Today 34 messages from people I know, and 144 from strangers, offering loans, sex, companionship, business leads, sales leads, get rich quick schemes, and one from a national used car supplier

As I typed this, another 3 messages arrived. One from "Lead-a-car", one from "Letitia" and one from "Looters discount shop"
In all my years of using WA, this has never happened to me. Not even once.
 
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