Colombo, February 18 (newsin.asia) – A spate of hacks on WhatsApp accounts have spurred a decidedly unsettled buzz across Colombo since last night. Reports have also come in from India and Pakistan.
The hack takes control of your account by activating your mobile number on another device. Once this is done, the owner no longer has access to their account.
For obvious reasons, this raises major concerns as the hacker effectively gains control of messages, shared images, files, contact details, passwords, banking and finance and other personal information.
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The hacking process
The method used in this particular hack is very simple and does not involve any technical barriers for the hacker to surpass. It exploits the users’ gullibility to gain the access they require.
It begins with a message from a known number/contact requesting a code that would have arrived via SMS.
The SMS will contain a code that is required to activate WhatsApp when it is being installed. This is an automated message from the system and looks something like the following:
If the code is shared, the hacker will gain full control of the WhatsApp account and the original user will not have access to their account.
Activating two-step verification in WhatsApp
WhatsApp introduced an added level of security in 2017. Although this is optional, it is highly recommended that users activate this.
It will ask you to set an additional 6-digit pin code that should be entered the next time you install WhatsApp. If a hack attempt is made, it will be just a little harder to do so with the new pin code in place.
To activate the two-step verification open WhatsApp and go to Settings -> Account -> two-step verification.