Whatsapp has become a primary home for phishing activity in recent years. With 90 percent of data breaches beginning with a phishing attempt, mobile phishing has become a fast-growing technique used amongst cybercriminals. Over time, email providers have taken steps to heighten security and filter ‘phish-y posts’ to the spam folder, however, since mobile apps like Whatsapp and Skype are still relatively new, they haven’t had the same amount of time or focus to build a security-system to adequately protect users.
Dark Reading expertly explains how one person falling victim to a mobile scam can result in all their contacts becoming compromised. Often, phishing scams offer a prize or reward. “The target can’t redeem their gift until they have sent a link to the page to a number of other contacts via WhatsApp. This way, with each successful phish, attackers are able to reach yet more victims, directly within the application that the campaign is designed to exploit.”
Critical to online security is the ability to decipher between what is real and fake on all digital platforms. Consumers and companies alike need to protect their sensitive data because once personal information is exposed, the harmful ramifications can extend much further than the original source of the breach. This is yet another reason that identity protection services are so valuable – they can monitor for your personal or sensitive information exposed not only through what we see as a traditional data breach of a corporate entity, but also when your best friend unknowingly exposes your information because they fell victim to a phishing attack.