Some Nigerian WhatsApp users have been experiencing hacking of accounts by hackers in the past few weeks as several people calling to ask if you are interested in investing in a scheme on a WhatsApp group.
Newsflash247 gathered that it is not only Nigerian users having been hacked from these attackers.
An Israeli security firm — Check Point Software Technologies Ltd recently discovered a series of shortcomings in the Facebook-owned instant messaging app.
The company revealed that hackers can manipulate messages sent to a group by altering the identity and messages of the sender.
This is coming after WhatsApp was reportedly hacked by attackers who installed advanced spyware on an unknown number of smartphones.
According to reports, the hackers were able to install the surveillance technology by calling targets using WhatsApp’s voice call feature.
Most of the Nigerian WhatsApp users affected, told the Newsflash247 that the phone numbers were changed and they were automatically removed from a WhatsApp group belonging to. The supposed hacker then sent messages to the group about an investment that guarantees the investor receiving double of the amount invested within 30 minutes.
Newsflash247 further investigate that the hack, a call was put through to the supposed hacker to enquire about the advertised investment. The hacker claimed that “the investment is real and reliable and it’s secured under the Corporate Affairs Commission.”
They then asked the caller to send the desired investment amount to an account number that he provided.
WhatsApp users weren’t aware of the hack until they started receiving several calls from some members of the group to clarify if they were responsible for the messages.
Considering recent complaints and reports about WhatsApp being hacked, it appears it is experiencing safety issues similar to Facebook.
Facebook’s WhatsApp messaging service is incredibly easy to set up, but this easy setup process means that your account is open to abuse if you’re not careful. Thankfully, it’s fairly simple to enable an extra layer of security on your account, which means that you won’t lose it if your six-digit activation code gets compromised.
These security options unfortunately won’t stop you from a serious hack such as the one that hit Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. What it will do is offer another layer of protection if someone manages to trick you into sharing your security code, which is a process known as “social hacking.”
If you need any convincing about why it’s a good idea to use this extra security, then allow me to share a friend’s recent experience about what can go wrong when you don’t.
Bleary-eyed one Sunday morning, she received a WhatsApp message from a close friend that asked if she could forward over a six-digit code that she was just about to receive via SMS. Without thinking, and because she trusted her friend, she sent over the code and suddenly found herself logged out of her WhatsApp account.
“Never share your six-digit WhatsApp verification code with anyone”
You probably realized what happened. That wasn’t just any six-digit code; it was the six-digit code that WhatsApp sends to your mobile number via SMS to associate with your WhatsApp account. In sharing that number, my friend had inadvertently allowed the attacker to log in to her account.
Since her attacker now had control of her account, they were then able to send messages from it to any contacts she was in the same group chat with. That’s how the attacker was able to ask for my friend’s six-digit verification code via another friend’s number; they’d gained control of that account as well and used it to message every contact they could, trying to rope them into the scam.
In theory, having your WhatsApp account taken over should be a fairly easy situation to resolve: just enter your phone number into the app and have it send you another six-digit code. The problem is that hackers can spam your number with a bunch of incorrect six-digit codes so that you get locked out of your account for up to 12 hours. Then, if you hadn’t set up a PIN of your own, this leaves an attacker free to set up one of their own on your account, locking you out for seven days in total.
That’s why it’s so important to remember these two rules:
Never share your six-digit WhatsApp code with anyone — not your parents, not your best friend, and definitely not your sibling. No one will ever have a legitimate reason to ask for the code that WhatsApp sends you over SMS, so don’t even think about sharing it.
Should the worst happen, then setting up a PIN will act as another barrier to stop someone from being able to sign in to your account, and it will stop this nightmare from happening to you.
In light of the recent safety concerns, here are a few things to do to avoid being scammed or hacked.
Follow these steps to secure your WhatsApp account
Somewhat confusingly, the PIN is also six digits long. In order to set it up:
Open WhatsApp and tap the three dots on the top right of the screen; See the gallery of screenshot below
Hit “Settings”; See the gallery of screenshot below
“Click on Account”, See the gallery of screenshot below
Then Click on “Two-step verification”, See the gallery of screenshot below
Click on “Enable,” See the gallery of screenshot below
Then pick your six-digit PIN. See the gallery of screenshot below.
This next step isn’t mandatory, but adding an email address will allow you to recover your account if you forget your PIN. See the gallery of screenshot below
And save, that’s all.
WhatsApp will periodically ask you for your PIN while you’re using it so that you don’t easily forget it, but we’d still recommend having a backup.
Also for Group Administration(s)
Only the Admin of the group should following these steps
Press the three dots on the upper side of your group chat; See the gallery of screenshot below
Go to Group info; See the gallery of screenshot below
Go to Group setting; See the gallery of screenshot below
Go to edit group info; See the gallery of screenshot below
Step 5: Tap on only Admins can set then tap on Ok; See the gallery of screenshot below
Step 7: That is all