Do you ever look at WhatsApp and wish it was a different color? The lime green is a little too harsh on the eyes. Pink would be cute, right? We think it absolutely would be, but such an update unfortunately isn't actually happening.
Fake WhatsApp Update Claims to Change the App's Main Color
Internet security researcher Rajesh Rajaharia wants you to know that WhatsApp is, in fact, not changing its lime green color to hot pink.
Several WhatsApp users (in India, for the most part) have reported receiving a link to a "WhatsApp update" that promises a number of new features. The advertisement claims to give the app interface new rosy hues, when in truth, it downloads a virus to your phone.
Beware of @WhatsApp Pink!! A Virus is being spread in #WhatsApp groups with an APK download link. Don't click any link with the name of WhatsApp Pink. Complete access to your phone will be lost. Share with All..#InfoSec #Virus @IndianCERT @internetfreedom @jackerhack @sanjg2k1 pic.twitter.com/KbbtK536F2— Rajshekhar Rajaharia (@rajaharia) April 17, 2021
This is one of the oldest tricks in the book of malicious hacking: make the malware appear like it's legitimate. If you receive this link, be sure not to click on it!
While WhatsApp hasn't made an official statement on this specific incident, the company has spoken before about how important it is to approach suspicious links or links from contacts you don't recognize with absolute caution.
Anyone can get an unusual, uncharacteristic or suspicious message on any service, including email, and anytime that happens we strongly encourage everyone to use caution before responding or engaging. On WhatsApp in particular, we also recommend that people use the tools that we provide within the app to send us a report, report a contact or block contact.
Android users, if you have access to your phone but still believe you've picked up a virus somehow, learn how to remove a virus from your phone without a factory reset.
Some Legitimate WhatsApp Updates
So, if WhatsApp isn't going pink, then what are the latest updates to the app that are actually real? Well, most recently, WhatsApp released its new free sticker pack in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) called "Vaccines For All."
How to Avoid Malicious Links and Downloads
When you receive a link you're unsure about, keep a careful eye on two things: how the link was presented to you, and the circumstances under which you received it.
For instance, poorly edited images and typographical errors in any text descriptions may be signs that you've been linked to an illegitimate download. Or, if the person sending you the link is someone that you've never spoken to before.