WhatsApp account hacking related to the new feature rolled out on the apps beta version
WhatsApp has long been been working on a new feature to support multiple device login. This would mean that a single mobile number can now login on multiple devices with the help of a one time six-digit code SMS on the registered mobile number, allowing a single WhatsApp account to be accessed across more than one device.
Though this feature sounds interesting, users must be warned that sharing of the code messaged to initiate a new sign-in, with unknown individuals may lead to unwanted access and control to the users WhatsApp account.
Recently, there has been a spread in hacking of WhatsApp accounts, especially in India. Users reported to have received a message from an unknown account/contact, asking to share a six digit code.
If a known phone contact messages you to share such a message, most of us would do this without thinking but the problem arises here because the message has not been initiated by your contact.
The message has instead been initiated from a hacker who has gained unlawful access to your friends account. You many not even know that your friends account has already been compromised.
The hackers ask to share a six digit code SMS, by quoting that this code was mistaken sent to your number by them.
On sharing this code, the hacker gains complete access to the users WhatsApp account, blocking the user out and then further initiates a chain of messages to all the users contacts to share the six digit code SMS in a similar way.
To stay safe from this rather social way of hacking, Please do not share any code received as an SMS, even with someone you know personally. This can save you from banking or numerous widespread user account related hacks/fraud. Users can enable the two step authentication feature offered by WhatsApp. This will give them an added layer of security.
What the feature is actually intended to do:
Currently WhatsApp requires its users to sign out of their mobile phone to be able to access their account on another mobile phone. This new feature will eliminate the lengthy process of signing-out and signing-in again and simplify WhatsApp accessibility across multiple devices especially mobile phones.
One WhatsApp account can be logged-in on upto 4 devices simultaneously with this features rollout. The login will involve the users mobile number and an OTP, received for authentication during the users new sign-in.
Users can add, delete, manage devices that are logged in, including devices like web browsers and mobiles seamlessly. This extends the functionality of the currently available WhatsApp Web feature which allows only a single mobile along with a PC, Mac or web browser to access a particular WhatsApp account.
WhatsApp testing expert WABetaInfo reported that this new feature will be added in the menu under the name of “Linked devices”. This will also mean that it would replace the current whatsapp web option while integrating it.
Users will now be able to access their WhatsApp account and messages across their mobile phone, laptop, desktop and tablet simultaneously and will be able to freely switch between these devices.
A bunch of other new features may also soon be available, this includes the “Search by date” and improved storage managing features that allows messages and images in chats to be searched by specifying the dates.
However WhatsApp is lagging quite behind its competitor Telegram in terms of new feature rollouts.
Telegram has recently announced new features like:
Increased file sharing size restriction to 2GB which is 20 times larger than WhatsApp’s 100MB size restriction.
Support for videos to be now set as profile. Group stats giving detailed information about group activity and growth.
Skin softening support in the in-app camera for image beautification.
Increased user sign-in device limit to up-to 3 devices. File Sharing, Group Stats, improved People Nearby have also been added.