Home Android WhatsApp: can the Android phone be infected when downloading a photo?

WhatsApp: can the Android phone be infected when downloading a photo?

WhatsApp: can the Android phone be infected when downloading a photo?

In short, no. Unless other actions are taken on the phone, which we also learn about on video, released by cybersecurity expert Lukas Stefanko who shows us how a phone can be infected by malware.

To all WhatsApp users on Android smartphones, here is the warning of what not to do on this instant messaging platform if they receive a suspicious photo, or link (link) to an alleged application, or landing page.

What not to do in WhatsApp on Android phones

Some websites are reporting a virus that can be received through a WhatsApp message, in particular a malware will be installed on your phone after downloading an image.It's true that we shouldn't open suspicious links but, in this case, it's another fake news . pic.twitter.com/CBiasedxWanO

– WABetaInfo (@WABetaInfo) February 17, 2021

Firstly, as the publication WABetaInfo points out, the outstanding case is, in itself, an exaggeration in order not to call it false news. Although we should not open unknown links, an image alone will not infect the phone.

Furthermore, on Android devices the threat consists of malware – adulterated / malicious software – and not the computer virus in its traditional sense. That said, we see above the case exposed by Stefanko that simulates a malware infection.

Succinctly, we shouldn't install Android apps outside of the Google Play Store. This is the official source of apps, games, movies and more content for Android smartphones and outside of this it is possible to download tampered applications, for example.

Do not install Android apps outside of the Google Play Store

It is the guiding principle of security for Android smartphones and tablets. Although the Play Store itself is not immune to malware infections, far from it, in fact, it is still the place where most security filters work to protect us.

Therefore, in the above case, we see a scenario in which those responsible created a fake “Play Store”, a landing page with an aspect similar to the official store to deceive unwary users. The goal? Installing tampered apps.

In the specific case, the application pretends to be a Huawei app, but not more than a Trojan horse to hide the malicious code that triggers the behavior programmed by hackers.

Note that the goal here is to use the victim's phone to subscribe to value-added services whose revenues revert to hackers. It is just one example of several streams of malware that often circulate on the Internet.

A photo does not infect the Android phone, but distrusts the links

Contrary to what some users may fear, a photo / image does not infect your Android with malware. A .jpg or .png file does not have this capability. But, be suspicious when they send you a link to see a certain image.

The deception of photo albums of certain people or contacts continues to serve as a motto to try to deceive users, taking them to potentially dangerous landing pages. This is a common scourge on WhatsApp.

In summary, do not fear an image, but do not click on random links, sent by strangers, or even by your contacts if they are not related to a previous topic, conversation, or topic. This is because in some cases the malware can try (and succeed) to spread its “bait” through WhatsApp messages, as we made known on a previous occasion.

Remember, the last and most important bastion of security is a well-informed user.

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*The article has been translated based on the content of https://4gnews.pt/whatsapp-pode-o-telefone-android-ser-infetado-ao-descarregar-uma-foto/ by 4gnews.pt
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