WhatsApp, the most used messaging ‘app’ to launch cyber scams

ABC technology




Cyber ​​scams on the Internet are the order of the day. However, not all the platforms we use are equally common. This is highlighted in a recent study prepared by the cybersecurity company Kaspersky, which points to WhatsApp as the messaging ‘app’ in which the use of ‘phishing’ is more common; that is, the deception by cybercriminals to steal the user’s data and passwords.

According to figures shared by the cybersecurity company, 89.6% of fraudulent links on messaging platforms between December 2020 and May 2021 they were sent through WhatsApp. Behind, at a great distance, they are Telegram, with 5.6%; Viber, with 4.7%; and Hangouts, with less than one percent. Regarding the countries that have suffered a greater number of ‘phishing’ attacks, Russia is in the lead with 46% of all attacks, followed by Brazil with 15% and India with 7%. Worldwide, an average of 480 attack attempts have been recorded per day.

For the preparation of this study, Kaspersky has used the Safe Messaging function, within its Internet Security solution for Android. Thanks to it, he has been able to analyze the ‘clicks’ on ‘phishing’ links in messaging applications and has discovered that a total of 91,242 detections worldwide.

Spain, for its part, ranks 14th in the world ranking of countries affected by attacks through WhatsApp and 16th in the case of Telegram, as the company has shared in a statement.

Regarding the main risks, the cybersecurity company warns about the so-called ‘chain scheme’, a common technique in which a scammer asks the user to share the fraudulent link between their contacts. They emphasize, in turn, that cybercriminals often use WhatsApp and other messaging services to communicate with users they have found on other legitimate platforms (such as accommodation reservation services) and use them as a communication method to fraudulent messages.

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During the last months, several scams have also been alerted through the messaging application in which criminals impersonated well-known brands. Just a week ago, the El Corte Inglés chain communicated through social networks the return of an old campaign in which criminals affirm through WhatsApp that, on the occasion of the company’s 80th anniversary, gift cards valued at 500 are being offered euros. The ultimate goal, as in so many other cases, was to steal personal and banking data.

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