The most dangerous messaging apps on Android

Messaging apps have gotten a few of the hottest smartphone applications on the planet, and meaning extra makes an attempt to phish their customers, Kaspersky finds.


Picture: iStock/weerapatkiatdumrong

New knowledge from Kaspersky reveals that messaging apps for Android gadgets are wildly well-liked targets for phishing scammers. Of all of the phishing makes an attempt on Android messaging platforms between December 2020 and Could 2021, WhatsApp led the pack with a whopping 89.6% of detected assaults.

SEE: handle passwords: Greatest practices and safety ideas (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

In keeping with analysis cited by Kaspersky, messaging apps are overtaking social media platforms as the preferred device for communication, and can proceed to take action within the years to return. With that in thoughts, it is comprehensible that cybercriminals are more and more turning to them as an area to hunt phishing victims, mentioned Kaspersky senior net content material analyst Tatyana Shcherbakova. Together with reputation, many messaging apps even have options that make phishing simpler for attackers, Shcherbakova mentioned.

WhatsApp, as acknowledged above, is the overwhelming chief by quantity of detected malicious hyperlinks. In second place was Telegram, with 5.6%, Viber, with 4.7%, and Google Hangouts with lower than one %. Customers in Russia, Brazil and India had been essentially the most frequent targets.

The detections of malicious hyperlinks in WhatsApp, Telegram, Viber, and Google Hangouts had been made on gadgets with the model of Kaspersky Web Safety for Android that featured a brand new Protected Messaging characteristic that tries to stop customers from opening malicious hyperlinks. Throughout the interval of the research Kaspersky recorded 91,242 detections. 

Kaspersky mentioned that WhatsApp is the preferred app on the planet, which would be the motive for its excessive numbers. Telegram, apparently sufficient, has an analogous geographic distribution as WhatsApp however far fewer detections, Kaspersky mentioned. 

SEE: Safety incident response coverage (TechRepublic Premium)

Viber and Hangouts, the report famous, had very completely different geographies, with most assaults on Viber customers coming from Russia, and most Hangouts detections coming from the U.S. and France. 

No matter the place you might be or what app you are utilizing, the flexibility to detect phishing makes an attempt is a vital talent to develop. Kaspersky recommends that everybody on-line take the next steps to keep away from turning into a phishing sufferer:

  • Maintain a watch out for misspellings or irregularities in hyperlinks
  • Scammers will generally use a sufferer to ship hyperlinks on their behalf to make them look extra legit. Do not ship suspicious hyperlinks or hyperlinks from individuals you’ll be able to’t confirm.
  • Scammers masks themselves by pretending to be from a legit enterprise, and a few of them contact targets by discovering their info from legit sources. Sources could appear legit, however the hyperlinks they ship will nonetheless comprise misspellings and different pink flags.
  • Messages coming from mates or different individuals you realize might nonetheless be malicious. Accounts will be hijacked, and forwards from malicious sources can occur on accident, so all the time be cautious of hyperlinks and attachments. 
  • Set up a safety answer on a cellular machine. Even when the machine itself is fairly shielded from takeover, fishing hyperlinks and malicious functions can steal info saved on the machine.

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