Brazil already has more than three million victims of cloning WhatsApp

Brazil already has more than three million victims of cloning WhatsApp

A survey carried out by the dfndr lab, a laboratory specializing in digital security at PSafe, identified that the cloning of WhatsApp already reaches more than three million users in 2020. The data were obtained from a survey that addresses the panorama of cybersecurity in the country, based on in July records this year.

Even with these numbers, the laboratory recorded an 18% drop in the number of victims of WhatsApp cloning scams, registering in July 340,000 victims in the country, the lowest average since January. For Emilio Simoni, director of the dfndr lab, the best way to combat the growth of this coup is to combine education with technology: “The popularity that this theme has gained in recent times helped to raise awareness and certainly contributed to the decrease in the number of victims in July" , said the expert. "But it is still not enough to effectively fight the coup, as criminals are always creating new ways to attract and deceive victims. That is why it is necessary to always have a security solution installed on your device ”, he adds.

Infographic of dfndr lab: drop in the number of victims of scams via WhatsApp (Image: dfndr lab)

Rising malicious links

The study identified 40,000 links of active scams in the period, and projects that around 5.8 million Brazilians were affected by malicious links in July this year alone. According to Simoni, scams spread via browser notifications (also known as push notifications) were the most used by scammers in the period.

"The criminals' strategy is to trick the victim into clicking on a malicious link, usually shared through social networks or WhatsApp, with the promise of access to specific content," explained Simoni. "The fake page then asks for permission for sending push notifications. When granting permission, the victim allows the cybercriminal to send him ads, which generate profits for the attackers through visualizations, and also ends up allowing the receipt of new scams ”, he warned.

Most used themes for WhatsApp scams according to PSafe (Image: dfndr lab)

How to protect yourself

  • Use mobile security solutions that provide protection from digital threats. Give preference to those who send security alerts to their users whenever they try to clone WhatsApp, receive a malicious link or fake news;
  • Enable two-factor authentication, available on WhatsApp itself, to increase account security and avoid cloning;
  • Search for information! Recently, the dfndr lab has mapped the most popular themes used by cybercriminals in WhatsApp cloning scams;
  • Be careful when clicking on links shared on WhatsApp or on social networks. Always check shared information and be wary of promotions, hyped news and discounts. Did you discover that a shared news is fake news? Let your friends, family and acquaintances know;
  • When in doubt, you can check if a link is fake on the dfndr lab website. Checking links notifies you in a few seconds if a website may offer any malicious features.