I think it’s fair to say WhatsApp is a pretty integral part of our lives. If you’re anything like me – it’s the primary mode of communication you use to catch up with family, friends and even workmates. This makes the recent cyber attack being perpetrated via WhatsApp a scary thing you will want to avoid.
What’s bugging you?
So the hack started as far back as March but I’ve only recently heard of Zimbabweans being affected by it. A hacker attempts to get a OTP (One Time Pin) that enables them to use your WhatsApp account.
The hacker sends a message from a hijacked account – meaning you’ll most likely receive the message from a contact already saved on your contact list. The hacker will then say they are struggling to receive their 6-figure PIN and have forwarded it to you instead. What’s happening is that the hacker is actually requesting for the 6-figure pin to your account and the moment you send it to them you’re locked out of your own WhatsApp account.
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The hack works because you normally receive the message from a contact you’ve saved meaning you’ll just trust that it’s them sending the message and just send them the OTP when it comes.
How to ensure this doesn’t happen to you
The simple answer is don’t respond to anyone saying they are sending you an OTP.
The longer answer is you can set up two-factor authentication (2FA) in your WhatsApp settings which will prevent hackers from resetting your account without your other password.
- Open WhatsApp
- Go to Settings
- Go to Account
- Look for Two-step verification
- Tap on Enable
- On the next screen, enter a six-digit passcode.
- Next, re-enter six-digit passcode.
- Optionally, add your email address on the next screen.