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RECHARGE

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Please uninstall FM WhatsApp right now, and consider ditching GB WhatsApp too

I know the WhatsApp situation sucks. The official application is adequate, rocking a pleasing design with a beautiful dark mode. However, the fact remains that the official app is often slow to add exciting features – for example, to this day the disappearing messages feature is severely limited.

I do not know why the WhatsApp guys often intentionally cripple their app. One of the popular features on WhatsApp mods like GB WhatsApp is the ability to hide one’s ‘last seen’ whilst being able to see other people’s. Same thing with read receipts (the blue ticks) and other privacy settings.

The official app believes in a ‘show me yours and I’ll show you mine’ philosophy. If you don’t want people to see yours, then you can’t see theirs. WHY? They just arbitrarily decided that that’s how it should be. If a contact of mine doesn’t mind me seeing that info, what does that have to do with what I prefer for my own account? Noone asked for this kind of parity. 

Okay, rant over. My point is that I understand why people love these WhatsApp mods. They don’t demand people give up their anonymity to participate. Some of us use WhatsApp for work and so would like for family and friends to not see us ‘online’ when we know we can’t chat. With some of these mods, you can make it so certain contacts do not see your ‘online’ status whilst some, work related in the example, can.

How many times have friends seen you online and concluded you were ignoring them when you were actually busy with work stuff? WhatsApp mods can help with this but they are just too risky for my liking. I haven’t used one in over 8 years and probably never will again. 

FM WhatsApp mod had nasty malware

Some security researchers found that there was a trojan in a version of FM WhatsApp. Called trojan because it hides its real intent and yet can take control of a computer/phone.

They suspect that the FM WhatsApp developers did not put this trojan in on purpose. Rather, the malicious code was in the advertising software development kit they used to be able to display ads in their app.

The Trojan Triada they found is one nasty bastard of malware. When you launch your FM WhatsApp, the trojan springs into action and collects and sends your device details to a remote server. The server then sends a link where the trojan downloads a number of different types of malware.

These bits of malware are wicked:

  • Some of them download and launch even more malware, including more trojans
  • While some display full-screen ads
  • Some display ads in the background
  • As some sign the phone/tablet up for paid subscriptions. This is done via an invisible window. Since this usually results in a text message being sent to the device for confirmation, the malware intercepts the message. Remember you have to give FM WhatsApp permission to read messages and that’s how the trojan gets permission.
  • Some sign in to other WhatsApp accounts on your phone and who knows what they use those accounts for.
  • Some use your phone to send spam to other people.
  • All this is done in the background, except for the ads displayed in the foreground, and even the intercepted message is deleted so you never see it. 

The version of FM WhatsApp that had this nasty trojan was 16.80.0. You might be using one that’s not infected but can you know with 100% certainty that there are no ads being displayed in the background? You can’t know this if you are using a modded WhatsApp version.

I met someone whose phone was displaying full screen ads that were not easy to dismiss. Who knows how many more were being displayed in the background. The phone had slowed down significantly and would heat up even when the user was just chatting in FM WhatsApp. What do you know, she was using the infected version. 

That’s the risk we take with these modded WhatsApp versions.

What to do

If you suspect your phone could be infected, uninstall the modded WhatsApp program you have, be it FM or GB or WhatsApp+. Even if you don’t have any suspicions, I think it’s about time you went legit. So uninstall then run an antivirus program to see if there’s any more nasty stuff in the background.

If not for the risk of malware, do it to avoid having your account blocked. WhatsApp does block accounts for using these modded versions. I know, you can always buy another line and start all over again. But why would you put yourself through all that. I still have 9 year old chats on my phone and you could enjoy that too.

Then the other habit you should cultivate is that of updating your apps. Sometimes apps may have vulnerabilities, not viruses or trojans, but just weaknesses that hackers can exploit. The vendors of these apps constantly release fixes for some of those vulnerabilities. 

If your phone does support the Google Play Store, try to get all your apps there. I know the data prices in Zimbabwe are prohibitive and most end up getting installable apk files from friends via ShareIt. Still try to see which version they are running before installing. Same goes if you get your WhatsApp installed by the ‘guys in town.’ A little caution keeps the hackers at bay.

You’re probably safe – for now, but…

I’m not saying your GB WhatsApp is infected. I am also not saying it’s not infected. I’m saying we just don’t know with these sideloaded apps. 

If you’re running FM WhatsApp, check to see that the version is not 16.80.0. This infected version is over 5 months old now and shouldn’t be working anymore. But I know some still adjust the date of their phones to avoid updating apps so I’m sure there is a number still using this version.

I leave you with the permissions you grant to your WhatsApp MOD, and therefore potentially to your trojans.

Permissions Required

Below is the list of permissions required by FMWhatsApp to run. Make sure to read them properly before installing it.

Kill Background Tasks
Internet Access
Access Device Location
Access WiFi, Bluetooth, Camera, Mike, NFC
Get Accounts
Read Contacts
Modify Audio Settings
Record Audio
Send SMS
Vibrate
Write Contacts
Write External Storage
Use Maps Services

You should also read:

What’s Netflix Mod and why you should never use it

So you use GB WhatsApp, is it really safe for you to do that?

8 ‘Weird Things’ That Get You Banned/Suspended On WhatsApp


Quick NetOne, Econet, And Telecel Airtime Recharge

13 thoughts on “Please uninstall FM WhatsApp right now, and consider ditching GB WhatsApp too

  1. What people don’t understand is that modded apps hide behind the permissions required by the official app. That’s why they’re are less modded apps for simpler apps. You will thus grant access to your contacts which the official Whatsapp does need, but you have no guarantees your contacts aren’t being harvested and sold by the modded one.

    The logic that you may want anonymity is unsound, when all your chats could potentially be being covertly read. It’s like leaving the rear door of a cash in transit vehicle open, to allow for fresh air. What should be normalised is that if you are online, it doesn’t mean you are free to chat and, over time, people will get used to that.

    Even if a modded app is “honest”, you will always be behind on security updates. This puts you at a great disadvantage, given the gravity of some recent security issues.

  2. To be honest I have never really understood this whole GB hype. The small amount of extras have never been really worth the risk.
    The main point being a lack of trust,aside from the stuff that’s obvious and tempting to use. I straight up don’t know what else has been modified on the GB app.
    How are GB app creators making their money?
    Are they serving hidden ads?
    Using my phone to mine cryptocurrency?
    Selling my personal info to whoever wants it?
    The list is almost endless, nd I have no idea which if any of these GB creators are doing. Even if they are honest the fact that GB app has been modded just makes it simpler to further modify it to include malware.
    And since the type of people that use GB are also the type that cry about high data costs (whilst downloading 50mb of pics nd videos a day) they are also the type that will update the app using Shareit thereby unknowingly spreading the malware further.
    So with these and other unknown issues I have decided that the pleasure I getting from being able to invisible whilst I’m on WhatsApp is not worth the risk.

  3. To be honest I have never really understood this whole GB hype. The small amount of extras have never been really worth the risk.
    The main point being a lack of trust,aside from the stuff that’s obvious and tempting to use. I straight up don’t know what else has been modified on the GB app.
    How are GB app creators making their money?
    Are they serving hidden ads?
    Using my phone to mine cryptocurrency?
    Selling my personal info to whoever wants it?
    The list is almost endless, nd I have no idea which if any of these GB creators are doing. Even if they are honest the fact that GB app has been modded just makes it simpler to further modify it to include malware.
    And since the type of people that use GB are also the type that cry about high data costs (whilst downloading 50mb of pics nd videos a day) they are also the type that will update the app using Shareit thereby unknowingly spreading the malware further.
    So with these and other unknown issues I have decided that the pleasure I get from being invisible whilst I’m on WhatsApp is just not worth the risk.

  4. Conspiracy Time!
    It’s all a big conspiracy!
    You know how Microsoft gives out Windows Home edition for free but sells the the other types. It’s because Windows Home edition users are being used as beta testers for the Windows editions they sell!
    FM/GB WhatsApp users are being used the same way way! OK this conspiracy is a bit weak since WhatsApp is not sold….but I have others
    Another Conspiracy
    The one eyed man in the land of the blind is king
    FM/GB WhatsApp users are not tech savy, so if you give them an app with a few extra bells nd whistles they will flock to it and then you can harvest so much information from them without them realising the value of what they are giving away for free. Before you say that I am crazy please remember that Facebook once used Onavo for this exact purpose. Onavo was being used to harvest information about the types of apps on users phones, how long they used each app per day. To the average person this might seem like nothing to worry but to specific companies this information is worth more than gold. If properly understood it can help a company be able to see exactly how well the competition is doing or insight into new nd upcoming companies helping you decide on how to crush them if deemed necessary. Facebook got caught nd officially stopped doing this but what if FM/ GB are the new nd improved Onavo? Otherwise how do you explain the way Meta just seems to be ignoring the existence of these types of apps? Meta might be getting the harvested information through a third party and can claim to have clean hands.
    Next Conspiracy
    The best people to steal from are the poor and it’s even better if they think that you’re doing them a favour.
    FM/ GB WhatsApp users are generally poor as well as not being tech savy.
    And so if you steal from them they have no avenue to go nd complain since they have technically broken the user terms of official app. You can use their phones to mine cryptocurrency and nd even if they notice the slowdown in performance of the phone they would never think of blaming their FM/GB app that they use nd even if they do who are they going to complain to. Sell their information to third parties for profit, hidden ads, connect their phones to bot nets etc etc and these are just the low hanging fruit there’s so many other ways to take advantage and the best part no-one will really care because it’s being done to poor people.
    It’s the NSA!
    These apps are a secret USA government agency conspiracy as a way to secretly spy on people just like how the TOR browser was created by the US navy, FM/GB and other types were created to monitor the people of the world. Because if you create something then you should also know how to break it those supposedly disappearing messages are nothing of but just lies and if you are ” a person interest” to the USA government everything you say on this nifty app is not secret. Meta is also absolved from blame because these apps are against the ULA. Maybe that’s why Meta is not doing anything about these types of apps they were told not to by USA government 🤔.

    1. Well no version of window is free. The manufacturers pay for it. You just get the free upgrade which splits both to home edition and pro edition. They also have a beta program called the insider program that people opt into voluntarily. Microsoft is just bad at fixing reported bugs. That’s why do many slip through. So there is no conspiracy there

  5. People should relax coz as we know the majority of us only use WhatsApp bundles and rarely use, if at all, data bundles. This means that they cannot steal your data even if they wanted to. It won’t be sent to their servers. Only Facebook and the government is “stealing your data”

  6. as a ordinary Zim I would be worried if they steal my money Zve information izvo isu tisinga gadzire even a simple smartphone haaaa yagara iri kungo torwa left right and centre

  7. You say you haven’t used GB in over 8 year and you never will. I say have been using it for over 8 years without any issues or problems and I am not going to stop.

    All that makes for a nice blog article to read but with how long Zimbos have been using modded/cracked versions of app and software I am afraid it will only remain just that, a good read.

    With Whatsapp, unless they improve and upgrade the functionalities of the app to those of GB, people are going to stick to the mods. They once tried to block numbers of people using the modded versions but that didn’t help either. They should just improve the official app’s functionalities.

    The other option would be to use Telegram which is so rich in its functions, that they even trump those of GB. But because of the unavailability of Telegram data bundles from our MNOs, the remaining option would be to use GB.

  8. You say you haven’t used GB in over 8 year and you never will. I say have been using it for over 8 years without any issues or problems and I am not going to stop.

    All that makes for a nice blog article to read but with how long Zimbos have been using modded/cracked versions of app and software I am afraid it will only remain just that, a good read.

    With Whatsapp, unless they improve and upgrade the functionalities of the app to those of GB, people are going to stick to the mods. They once tried to block numbers of people using the modded versions but that didn’t help either. They should just improve the official app’s functionalities.

    The other option would be to use Telegram which is so rich in its functions, that they even trump those of GB. But because of the unavailability of Telegram data bundles from our MNOs, the remaining option would be to use GB.

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