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Phishing Expeditions Target Mobile Messaging Apps

Thursday, May 15th, 2014 by | Filed Under: Android, iOS, Smartphones

Scammers and spammers who have been sending e-mails hoping to trick people into clicking links that lead them to malicious websites are increasingly targeting mobile users. According to a report from security experts Kaspersky these fake messages are targeting mobile messaging apps like WhatsApp with scam messages that resemble communications from your friends.

They are using these messages to spread spam and malicious attachments containing malware. They pointed out a particular WhatsApp message that appeared as if the user had received a photo from a friend. But that message actually contained a backdoor program that downloaded more malware.

Other tricks were a message telling a user, he or she had missed a voice mail message and to click a link to hear it.  This scam message was seen in three popular messaging apps: WhatsApp, Hangouts and Viber.

These crooks used the Winter Olympic Games to draw the interest of potential victims. They titled messages to lead people to believe they were seeing images, videos or news stories about the Olympics to encourage them to follow the links.

Just as with e-mail messages, users need to be cautious about messages received over Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber and other popular messaging services. There’s no place scammers won’t go to steal your information and no tactic they won’t try.

~ Cynthia

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