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Fake ‘WhatsApp’ Was Downloaded Over 1 Million Times On Google’s Play Store
By Mikelle Leow, 06 Nov 2017
Composite image by DesignTAXI. Background image via Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)
Redditors have recently discovered a freakishly uncanny copy of WhatsApp that has been downloaded more than 1 million times on the Google Play Store.
Instead of a messenger, users would simply be faced with a flurry of ads if they downloaded the app.
The spoof app is even more convincing than most email scams, where the everyday person can easily detect frauds by looking out for suspicious links.
Anyone—even developers—can be fooled into downloading the fake ‘WhatsApp’ if they didn’t check its code. Reddit users who spotted the app said it was almost indistinguishable because of an invisible character space placed after the developer’s name.
This isn’t the only “WrongApp” that has surfaced on Google Play: Fortune reports that internet sleuths have found seven other spoofs from developers using minor variations of the name ‘WhatsApp Inc.’
The bogus apps all have four-star reviews, and Fortune believes this is due in part to Google Play’s lax regulations.
The developer behind the counterfeit app has since changed their name to ‘PEGI 3’.
Image via virqdroid
Image via thehackersnews
[via Fortune, images via various sources]
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