Discover the fake new version of WhatsApp for ios to attack target users

Recent investigations by motherboard with digital rights regulator Citizen Lab link the emergence of a new fake version of WhatsApp for iOS devices with an Italian-origin spyware provider, a partner with different government and law enforcement forces.

For now, the specific objectives targeted by this version have not been known, although the fake version of WhatsApp serves as input to obtain information from target users, although at the moment it has only been possible to demonstrate that this version obtains the unique device identifier (UDID) of the phone as well as IMEI, another unique identifier for mobile phones, not knowing what other data it collects as well.

Using WhatsApp as bait for malware attacks on iOS

The fake version of WhatsApp uses users to trick them into installing what are actually so-called mobile device management (MDM) profiles that in practice open the door to malware installation by attackers.

In this sense, a fake page had been created but quite identical to the original WhatsApp page, urging users to download, even having a step-by-step guide, although as we just mentioned, they actually installed MDM profiles so that victims could become subject to malware attacks.

Currently, the phishing page is no longer available, although investigations link the public URL of that website with several private URLs belonging to the Italian-origin spyware developer itself.

An ongoing trend in iOS

This emergence follows a growing trend, where other spy solution providers are also moving in the same direction by using MDM profiles to enable attacks on target WhatsApp users on iOS devices.

Currently, WhatsApp is in litigation with NSO Group, another spyware provider, for taking advantage of its service for sending malware to victims who are the subject of their attacks. As noted, the breach of iOS devices for malware attacks is the order of the day.

Phishing - Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre

Best of all: installation from official sources

From WhatsApp, we strongly recommend that the installation of your application is done only from the official app stores, thus avoiding problems like the one we just mentioned and that it could also result in the suspension of accounts in those users who use modified versions of the application.

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