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How to clone WhatsApp? Understand the dangers of the scam and know how to protect yourself | Security

READ: WhatsApp changes and deletes messages in groups; Look

A factor that contributes to the increase in cases of scam is users' lack of knowledge of basic WhatsApp security standards. Many pass on, to know, for criminals the messenger authentication code that gives access to private chats. Below understand how the cloning process of the application works and learn how to protect yourself from intruders and recover cloned WhatsApp.

How to block cloned WhatsApp? Understand tactics of hacking WhatsApp Photo: Rodrigo Fernandes / TechTudoHow to block cloned WhatsApp? Understand tactics of hacking WhatsApp Photo: Rodrigo Fernandes / TechTudo

How to block cloned WhatsApp? Understand tactics of hacking WhatsApp Photo: Rodrigo Fernandes / TechTudo

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How to clone WhatsApp? Understand the cloning process

Cloning apps mirror victim conversations, just like WhatsApp Web Photo: Paulo Alves / TechTudoCloning apps mirror victim conversations, just like WhatsApp Web Photo: Paulo Alves / TechTudo

Cloning apps mirror victim conversations, just like WhatsApp Web Photo: Paulo Alves / TechTudo

To carry out the coup, I must have the cell phone of the person whose messages will be monitored. That is, it is not possible to clone WhatsApp remotely with the phone number, which indicates as a safety measure attention to suspicious approaches on cell phones. This is because the applications to clone WhatsApp work from the reading of a QR Code, which will be scanned on the victim's smartphone, following the same login procedure on WhatsApp Web.

After reading the code, the cloning apps mirror the victim's conversations on the attacker's cell phone. It is worth remembering that applications of this type are of doubtful origin and can open security holes in those who want to invade third-party WhatsApp.

Although the operation of these tools is similar to that of WhatsApp Web, the user does not receive any notification warning about the clone. Thus, the victim continues to talk normally, without suspecting that someone is watching the messages. The browser version of the messenger, however, informs the number of active sessions in the account.

Messages sent by criminals to try to steal the user's authentication code Photo: Divulgao / Kaspersky Lab Messages sent by criminals to try to steal the user's authentication code Photo: Divulgao / Kaspersky Lab

Messages sent by criminals to try to steal the user's authentication code Photo: Divulgao / Kaspersky Lab

Another way to clone WhatsApp from the verification code sent by the messenger himself. In this type of scam, criminals contact the victims by cell phone number available on sales sites such as OLX and Zap Imveis. In the message, they inform that there are complaints regarding the customer's contact and ask the person to confirm their own identity, providing the code that will be sent by SMS. When the victim provides the combination that arrives on the device, and the scammers manage to activate WhatsApp on a new device and clone the account.

Spying on WhatsApp and financial scams stimulate practice

By having free access to WhatsApp from a user, the hacker can use the content of the messages to blackmail the victim in exchange for money. According to a survey conducted by PSafe, 26.7% of respondents pointed out the leakage of private conversations as the main detriment of cloning WhatsApp.

It is also common for the attacker to impersonate the victim to hit his friends and family. Also according to the survey, sending links with scams to other contacts accounts for 26.6% of the damage, followed by requests for money from friends (18.2%), loss of WhatsApp account (18.0%) and blackmail (10.5%).

Another recurring incentive to spy on the private conversation of close friends and relatives. The interest in cloning WhatsApp for husband, wife or boyfriends has grown in the last year in Brazil, and this is proved by the increase in the use of spy apps, such as the so-called "stalkerware".

How to know that WhatsApp has been cloned?

How to discover cloned WhatsApp? Check the messages sent and viewed one of the tips Photo: Anna Kellen Bull / TechTudoHow to discover cloned WhatsApp? Check the messages sent and viewed one of the tips Photo: Anna Kellen Bull / TechTudo

How to discover cloned WhatsApp? Check the messages sent and viewed one of the tips Photo: Anna Kellen Bull / TechTudo

It is possible to know if WhatsApp has been cloned with some simple tips. First, be on the lookout for strange activities in your account. If you notice that conversations you don't read are listed as being viewed, or note messages that you don't remember sending, WhatsApp is likely to be active in a different place on your device.

Another indication involves active sessions on WhatsApp Web. In the messenger main menu, it is possible to check which devices are connected. If there is a suspicious login, press the "Exit all sessions" option to remove foreign devices.

Know how to avoid cloning WhatsApp

As most apps to clone WhatsApp require physical access to the cell phone, the first step in protecting yourself is not to leave your cell phone unlocked anywhere, without supervision. Install "turbocharged" versions of the messenger, such as GB WhatsApp or Yo WhatsApp, another attitude that leaves the user vulnerable to cloning in addition to going against the terms of use of the platform.

To strengthen account security and prevent attackers from taking action, it is recommended to enable 2-step verification. With this, any attempt to verify your number will be accompanied by a PIN created by you, as it prevents cloning by SMS code, for example.

Two-step verification helps strengthen WhatsApp account security Photo: Aline Batista / TechTudoTwo-step verification helps strengthen WhatsApp account security Photo: Aline Batista / TechTudo

Two-step verification helps strengthen WhatsApp account security Photo: Aline Batista / TechTudo

If you feel your account is at risk, an emergency measure will delete conversations that reveal personal information, such as bank details and intimate photos. To do this, open the conversation and tap the menu icon (three dots) in the upper right corner of the screen. Then press More and choose the Clear conversation option.

Another tip concerns WhatsApp Web. It is possible that, at some point, you forget the messenger logged on the work computer, for example, or on some other machine that is not yours. In this case, just touch the three dot icon, select "WhatsApp Web" and disconnect from all sessions. When in doubt, always log out, even on your computer.

It is also worth resorting to apps that put a password on WhatsApp. That way, when someone tries to access the messenger, they will also need to enter the application password, in addition to the code required on the phone's lock screen.

How to recover cloned WhatsApp?

If your WhatsApp has been hacked, contact your mobile operator and request a temporary suspension of the phone line. Then, go to an authorized company store and ask them to transfer the number to a new chip. The procedure done on the spot.

That done, send an email to support@whatsapp.com stating your number in the international format (+55 9 xxxx xxxx) and requesting to block cloned WhatsApp. The profile will remain suspended for thirty days so that you can reactivate it. After this period, it will be permanently deleted. After the line is active again, reinstall the WhatsApp application and set up the account.

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