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January 23rd, 2014

WhatsApp bogus email tries to install Zeus Trojan on your computer

whatsapp-logoHave you received an email from WhatsApp? No? That’s because the company usually sends their users messages directly via the app itself, typically notifying them of updates. If you have received an email from WhatsApp recently, we urge you to not open it and to delete it immediately. The email is a hoax that contains malware.

Within the last few days, an email with the subject line “Missed voice message” has spread with the sender name “WhatsApp Messenger.” The message asks recipients to “please download attached file,” a file named “Missed-message.zip.”

Our antivirus lab expert, Peter Kálnai, told us, “It has never been WhatsApp’s strategy to send you missed voice messages in an email and they haven’t started to do so now. Instead of a voice message, it includes a zipped attachment with an executable file under the same name missed-message.exe. This file is able to download any malware attackers want to load onto their victim’s computer, including the Zeus Trojan, also known as one of the most dangerous banking trojans.”

Zeus lies silently on users’ computers until they log on to a banking website. Once on a banking site, Zeus collects the users’ personal data and online banking information. Read more about how avast! Antivirus blocks Zeus Trojans.

The popular mobile messaging service, WhatsApp, recently announced they now have more than 430 million Android and iPhone users. This is a great success for WhatsApp, but at the same time makes it an attractive target for cybercriminals, as the amount of potential victims is huge.

Does avast! Antivirus protect against the WhatsApp malware?

Yes! AVAST detects the executable files spread in the ZIP file in different versions and protects all of its more than 200 million users from this threat. Besides using AVAST, we recommend users use common sense and think twice when they receive an email from an app that usually never chooses to address its users via email. Also, in general, trustworthy companies don’t send attachments unless you have requested specific documents, so do not open any email attachments if you haven’t requested them, and always use caution when downloading files from the Internet.

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