Feeds

'Priyanka' yanks your WhatsApp contact chain on Android mobes

If that really is your name, nobody wants to know you right now

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

A worm spreading through the popular WhatsApp messenging platform across Android devices is likely to cause plenty of confusion, even though it doesn't cause much harm.

Priyanka changes all contact groups names to Priyanka as well as contact names. The malware makes no use of exploits and vulnerabilities and only spreads manually. Victims have to accept contact file from a friend, named "Priyanka" and install it for anything untoward to occur. Simply ignoring the dodgy contact request prevents any damage.

Despite its less than ninja-level infection tactics, reports of Priyanka infection began cropping up on social media sites over the last few days, alongside more numerous alerts about the issue. The overall volume of related messages on Twitter is dozens rather than hundreds, the hallmark of a relatively isolated outbreak.

Fortunately recovering from infection is a straightforward matter of deleting the dodgy Priyanka contact before clearing your WhatsApp database, Softonic reports. Users will have to go through the setup process again but at the end of this their previous conversations should be restored.

Specialist Android enthusiast site theandroidsoul.com has screenshots of an infected device and advice on how to restore normality in an informative story here.

Priyanka itself is no big deal but history shows that social engineering tricks that first appear as a prank often get abused for more malign purposes later, so caution is advisable. It's unclear who created the malware but someone with a grudge against an ex called Priyanka is one plausible theory. People genuinely named Priyanka are likely to find it much tougher going making and retaining contacts on WhatsApp for at least the next few days until the minor outbreak dies down. ®

The next step in data security

More from The Register

next story
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator
We just might notice if you cut our cables
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.