The popularity of the Whatsapp IM service is undisputed – hundreds of millions of users around the world are proof of that. And it is precisely this what makes the name and brand a perfect lure for cyber crooks and scammers.
Their latest attempt to take advantage of that interest takes the form of an email claiming that a Mac and Windows desktop version of the popular mobile app is being tested by Facebook, which recently acquired Whatsapp for a cool $19 billion.
The recipients are urged to download and try out the beta version of this app but unfortunately for those who do, the downloaded software is not what it purports to be.
It is a Trojan downloader that then proceeds to download information-stealing malware that retrieves user names and passwords stored in the system.
This particular malicious email is currently targeting Brazilian users, but other spam runs that deliver the same link are likely to be under way.
“Although the volume of this spam run is relatively low, it is currently increasing. One of our spam sources reported that samples of this run accounted for up to 3% of all mail seen by that particular source, which indicates a potential spam outbreak”, Trend Micro researchers warn.
Users are advised to be careful and not to blindly trust unsolicited offers coming via email.