Guarding Your Chats: Check Out New Tactics Hackers Use to Target Your WhatsApp Account

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Nigeria’s National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has sounded the alarm on a fresh wave of cyber threats targeting WhatsApp users. Unlike traditional methods, this emerging tactic involves a strategic compromise of users’ accounts, with hackers maneuvering to activate WhatsApp on alternate devices without the user’s knowledge.

The key vulnerability lies in the attackers’ ability to convince users to unwittingly disclose the activation code sent by WhatsApp via SMS. Once armed with this code, hackers gain unauthorized access to the victim’s account, potentially exploiting it for malicious activities.

NITDA emphasizes the prevalence of social engineering tactics in this new wave of attacks. Perpetrators often resort to making convincing phone calls or sending text messages, posing as legitimate entities to deceive users into divulging the activation code.

To counter this escalating threat, NITDA has put forward a set of pragmatic preventive measures, aiming to fortify the security of WhatsApp accounts:

  1. Two-Step Verification: Activate the two-step verification feature in WhatsApp settings, adding an additional layer of security by requiring a PIN during account activation.
  2. Exercise Caution: Be wary of unsolicited calls or messages, especially those purporting to be from WhatsApp support or seemingly trustworthy channels.
  3. Guard Activation Codes: Keep activation codes confidential, refraining from sharing them with anyone, even if they claim to be a friend or support representative.
  4. Verify Contacts: Double-check the identity of individuals seeking sensitive information or financial aid through alternative means, such as SMS or a phone call.
  5. Authentication of Messages and Calls: Confirm the authenticity of messages and calls with known contacts through alternative means.
  6. Review Connected Devices: Regularly review the devices connected to your WhatsApp account. If any suspicious activity is detected, log out of all sessions immediately.

By adhering to these guidelines, users can significantly bolster the security of their WhatsApp accounts, erecting a formidable defense against potential breaches and unauthorized access. As cyber threats continue to evolve, staying vigilant and implementing these measures becomes paramount in safeguarding our digital communications.

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