'WhatsApp Plus' isn't the upgrade you want on your phone

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A recent report from Malwarebytes Labs (opens in new tab) has uncovered a new fake WhatsApp application which fraudulently gathers user data. The malicious app goes by the name WhatsApp Plus. Fortunately, the app doesn’t exist on Google Play Store or Apple App Store, but it is being circulated via comments on blogs and forums online.

The illicit version of WhatsApp is said to be a variant of WhatsApp riskware Android/PUP.Riskware.Wtaspin.GB.

It is said that the Android Package (APK) for WhatsApp Plus is being circulated, and a lot of users have been found using it. The app reportedly pulls out user data and replaces it with malware. 

When installed, the app brings up a screen with a gold WhatsApp logo in the center with a URL and handle. It asks for a permission to ‘agree and continue’ which, on accepting, redirects users to update to a newer version of the application. After which, the app redirects users to a website that has text written in Arabic.

The app basically steals users’ personal information like mobile number, name and even the media that is received or sent.

The report by Malwarebytes Lab also mentions that the fake WhatsApp offers features like running four WhatsApp accounts, hide ‘typing message’ notification, hide double ticks and blue 'read' ticks as well.

So if you’ve been using this app or have seen someone using it, we advice you to uninstall it immediately and install the legit WhatsApp application from the Play Store. Also, this might not be the only malicious app that’s making the rounds, so refrain from installing any non-verified app.

Sudhanshu Singh

Sudhanshu Singh have been working in tech journalism as a reporter, writer, editor, and reviewer for over 5 years. He has reviewed hundreds of products ranging across categories and have also written opinions, guides, feature articles, news, and analysis. Ditching the norm of armchair journalism in tech media, Sudhanshu dug deep into how emerging products and services affect actual users, and what marks they leave on our cultural landscape.
His areas of expertise along with writing and editing include content strategy, daily operations, product and team management.