large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Fake WhatsApp Android app tricks a million users — and it’s still live!

Over one million Android users have downloaded a fake version of the popular messaging application WhatsApp, it has emerged.

Motherboard reports an app called Update WhatsApp, which bears an icon similar to the official logo, tricked an unfathomable amount of users.

Related: How to unsent messages on WhatsApp

The convincing fake even listed WhatsApp Inc. as the developer on the Play Store listing.

With the million+ downloads, the report claims the fake app is the most successful of its kind.

And it’s not gone yet…

Crazily, the app is still live on the Google Play Store under the moniker Dual Whatsweb Update.

The malicious software riddled the unfortunate victims’ phones with advertisements.

In this instance, it appears as if the unscrupulous developer in question was simply attempting to make a quick buck from ad impressions.

It doesn’t seem as if the software has been designed to commandeer the phone in question or steal the personal data of unsuspecting Android users.

While little damage appears to have been done, it’s rather remarkable this app was able to make it through Google’s Play Store’s vetting process and stay live for so long.

“We see so many fake copies and fraudulent apps,” Mike Murray of mobile security firm Lookout told Motherboard.

“It’s always going to be a cat and mouse game between the bad guys and the good guys.”

Neither the developer nor Google have commented on the incident thus far.

Does Google need to be doing more to clamp down on fake apps? Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.