Several WhatsApp users have been receiving an app update link on their phones (and many have even unsuspectingly forwarded the link) which claims that it can turn the WhatsApp theme from its trademark green colour to pink and promises of additional features.
However, experts say, WhatsApp Pink is a new malware being spread through WhatsApp groups. It disguises itself as an Android application package (APK) file that promises to download and install a pink-coloured WhatsApp on the user's smart phone.
Many experts have warned that the link performs no actions as advertised and instead it is a tool for hackers to gain access to a target device.
Cybersecurity expert Rajshekhar Rajaharia told Moneylife, "Beware of WhatsApp Pink!! A Virus is being spread in WhatsApp groups with an APK download link. Don't click any link with the name of #WhatsappPink. Complete access to your phone will be lost”.
Disguised as an official update for the popular instant messaging app, the ‘WhatsApp Pink’ theme is a variant of malware. Needless to say, this is not an official update but the link is, in fact, an attempt by hackers to gain control over a targeted device.
The carefully crafted message containing the malware assures the user of a pink-coloured theme for WhatsApp on their phone after clicking the said link. The fake pictures accompanying the message too show chats from a pink colour themed WhatsApp.
Since the users are eager to install the WhatsApp package, they do not realise that they are being duped into downloading a virus and they readily provide the permissions that the package asks for on the smartphone.
Mr Rajaharia also shared some images from the message being circulated for the WhatsApp Pink download. As seen in the screenshots, the chat app is shown in a new pink colour theme along with the words ‘WhatsApp launched new look officially’. He emphasised it is so dangerous that it can not only lock the victims out of their WhatsApp accounts but even their smartphones in some cases.
This is not the first time that WhatsApp is being used for such devious activities. However, this new malware can cause the victim to completely lose control of his or her device and the data in it.
Do not click on any such unverified or suspicious link. Stick to the updates rolled out by WhatsApp only and do not be on the lookout for any third-party modifications to make to the app.