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Jan 04, 2017 07:00 AM EST

WhatsApp Users Warned Of New Hacking Scheme; WhatsApp No Longer Available On Older Smartphones

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Hackers have found a new way to steal bank logins using the WhatsApp messenger targeting two major Indian organizations. The WhatsApp virus, by far, is isolated in India where older Android versions are still in popular use in smartphones.

Hackers are sending malicious files over WhatsApp that, when clicked, can extract information saved in the device which include the bank login and other sensitive data. The malicious files are disguised as official documents from the government, which make unsuspecting users not to think twice and can be prompted to click on the link right away. Although it's only happening in India as previously mentioned, cybersecurity experts are worried because this can be easily replicated in other countries. The WhatsApp messenger is one of the most popular Android apps, not only in India, but also the rest of the world.

Smartphone makers and WhatsApp are yet to issue any comments or provide details what steps they will take to prevent such hacks to happen in the future. However, for now, the only way avoid getting hacked is not to click on suspicious links, BGR reported.

Besides the hacking issue, other WhatsApp users are facing another tough challenge because the widely-used messenger stopped supporting older versions of smartphones. As the new year starts, WhatsApp messenger can no longer be used in smartphones running Android 2.2 Froyo and older versions along with iPhones running iOS 6 and older, Mashable reported. Affected users may download an alternative messenger app.

While many affected users blamed WhatsApp for stopping their support in older devices, others believe that it is because of the Android manufacturers' policy that is to be blamed. The policy to stop pushing updates on existing Android-powered devices may have pushed WhatsApp to stop supporting older versions of software. The older versions of software will not be able to offer the capabilities needed to expand the features of the messenger app.

WhatsApp will also stop supporting the devices running Blackberry 10 OS, Nokia Symbian 360 and Nokia S40 starting June so users still have ample time to find an alternative messenger app although the task may be tough.

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